New research puts the spotlight on tube feeding
Landmarks are illuminating purple and blue across Australia and New Zealand from 4-10 February 2024, during Feeding Tube Awareness Week (FTAW), to raise awareness about the daily impact of tube feeding on individuals, carers, and families and unite the community.
There are various types of feeding tubes, including a nasogastric tube (NG-tube), where the tube is inserted through the nose and runs down to the stomach, and a gastrostomy tube (G-tube), which is inserted into the stomach through a small opening in the abdominal wall. Early findings from new research highlight the difficulties experienced by almost all respondents and their carers. UOW researcher, Dr Mercedez Hinchcliff, says cost, poor social acceptance, and problems accessing supplies are the major concerns identified for patients who need tube feeding to help provide nutrition.
“This research is the first of its kind in Australia and we are hopeful that these results hold promise for essential support to the feeding tube community.” Dr Hinchcliff says.
ausEE Inc., Australia’s peak national support and patient advocacy organisation for eosinophilic diseases, hosts FTAW each year, as these conditions are among many where people may require tube feeding. Spokesperson, Sarah Gray, says “Feeding Tube Awareness Week aims to help anyone managing tube feeding by sharing their stories to form connections and increase community support and understanding.”
During FTAW, over 90 landmarks are glowing purple and blue to show their support and shine the light on tube feeding.
Kate Dawson, 22, from Melbourne had a feeding tube for over 3 years. Kate says, “Seeing our landmarks lit up in purple and blue is a visual reminder that we are not alone. Our normality in this life may not be the same as someone else’s, shall we continue to expand our acceptance of normality.”
ausEE is encouraging the community to get involved by visiting a participating landmark, and taking a picture to share on social media, using the hashtags #FTAWLightUp, #FTAW2024 and #TubieTuesday.
The list of light-up locations can be found at https://feedingtubeaware.com.au/raiseawareness/lightuplandmarks/.
About ausEE Inc.
ausEE Inc. is a national health promotion charity founded in 2009. Its mission is to improve the lives of those
affected by eosinophilic diseases through providing support, evidence-based information, resources, advocacy and by campaigning to raise awareness and funds for research in Australia.