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World Gastroenterology Organisation

Global Guardian of Digestive Health. Serving the World.

History of WGO

The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) has a long history of serving the developing world and low-resource areas. We are a federation of over 100 Member Societies of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and other related disciplines, representing over 50,000 individuals worldwide.

WGO originated largely due to the initiative of Georges Brohée (1887-1957), a Belgian Surgeon and Radiologist who promoted modern Gastroenterology, in particular by founding the Belgian Society of Gastroenterology in 1928 and by organizing the first International Congress of Gastroenterology in Brussels in 1935. His continuing efforts culminated in the constitution of the “Organisation Mondiale de Gastro-entérologie” (OMGE) on 29 May 1958 in Washington, DC, USA where the first World Congress of Gastroenterology was held.

Dr. Henry L. BockusThe first president was Dr. Henry L. Bockus, whose vision was to enhance standards of education and training in gastroenterology. Initially focused on developed nations, the WGO today embraces a global approach with a special emphasis on developing regions.

The organization was officially renamed the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in May 2007.

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