In 2014 Varna Pediatric Endocrine Society started a program for timely diagnosis and treatment of stature deviations. GPs with 23 058 children under their care were trained and provided with a specialized auxological software to warn them for every stature deviation. From the expected 692 children with short stature (3% of the total), only 33 (0.14%) were sent for further evaluation. Due to the unsatisfactory results we decided to organise a new campaign with the help of media - GrowInform, with the main purpose to raise awareness of growth disorders and underline the importance of regular anthropometric measurements and assessment. Our secondary goal was to identify and if necessary, refer for further evaluation children with growth deviations in areas with no easy access to paediatric endocrinologists. We targeted 10 regional towns in the broad geographical region of our clinic, planning to make an on-place visit twice. In each region local media, social media and leaflets were used to raise awareness of growth deviations, and to advertise upcoming lectures and screening examinations, organised by an outreach team, consisting of 2 paediatric endocrinologists, a trainee and a PR specialist. Online consultations were freely available at our Facebook page and Internet site. A short informational movie was created specifically for the campaign. A process of referral for further evaluation when needed was established. We started the first part of the campaign in March, 2017, by visiting 6 towns with population of 117 706 children (2-18 years of age). For 1 year, a total of 146 children were evaluated (107 on place and 39 through the electronic means of communication). Out of the children found to have short stature (52 children, 35.6% of all), 44(30.0%) needed further evaluation at tertiary clinic. Until this moment, 12 (23.1%) children at a mean age of 8.7±3.5 years have been assessed at clinic and received definitive diagnosis: combined or isolated GH deficiency (25.0%), celiac disease (25.0%), Noonan syndrome (16.7%), familial and syndromic short stature (25%), Turner syndrome (8.3%). Treatment was started accordingly. Further 22 (42.3%) children presented auxology consistent with constitutional delay in growth and remained under subsequent follow-up. The informational approach proved to be more successful for the year of operation of the GrowInform campaign than all previously taken approaches. During the second year, the project will go nationally with the help of all tertiary paediatric endocrinology clinics in the country.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology