World Continence Week (WCW) is an annual initiative with the primary aim to raise awareness about incontinence related issues. WCW was initiated by the International Continence Society (ICS) in 2008 with the first ever World Continence Day. This became World Continence Week (WCW) in June 2009 with activities being developed worldwide. In 2016 the ICS passed WCW to EFNA member the World Federation of Incontinent Patients (WFIP) who now coordinates this yearly activity.
WCW Events are held around the world including Canada, USA, China, Denmark, Brazil, Singapore, Poland, Greece, Uganda, Italy, Slovakia, New Zealand and Germany.
Incontinence is the unwanted and involuntary leakage of urine or stool. Incontinence is a sensitive condition that affects an estimated 400 million people across the world. Historically, conditions affecting the bladder and bowel have often been uncomfortable or “taboo” subjects and accordingly these medical disorders have been underreported and under-diagnosed. Surveys have shown that fewer than 40% of persons with urinary incontinence mention their problem to a doctor or nurse and this figure is even higher for those with bowel incontinence. These conditions have been inadequately treated and poorly addressed by medical professionals, despite the substantial impact on individual health, self-esteem and quality of life.
In light of this, WCW seeks to draw attention to and increase public awareness about these conditions and to give sufferers the confidence to seek help and improve their quality of life.
A wide variety of neurological diseases are associated with incontinence. Examples include: Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and Parkinsons’ Disease. Neurological diseases can affect nerve pathways to the large intestine. They can also affect the nerve network within the bowel wall that regulates intestinal smooth muscle, a type of muscle that functions automatically without direct voluntary control.
- Globally facilitate continence awareness and promotion to improve health, wellness and quality of life.
- Provide a reputable forum for those seeking information on Continence Promotion and therapies.
- Create a worldwide network of events and organisations that will be recognised as leading authorities of Continence and Bladder and Bowel Health information.
- Further establish Continence Awareness and promote a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment.