EFA is very pleased to announce that Poland, which took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council in July, will prioritise children’s allergy and respiratory diseases during its 6 month stint at the helm of the EU, in a welcome attempt to advance the prioritisation of this disease area across Europe and overseas. The Presidency’s focus on respiratory diseases and allergy forms part of its broader aim to mitigate inequalities in health protection and services in European societies.
For this reason, on the 21-22 of September in Warsaw, a conference was held entitled ‘Prevention and control of childhood asthma and allergy in the EU from the public health point of view: urgent need to fill the gaps’. EFA was invited to play an active role.
The aim of the conference was to highlight asthma and allergies as one of the most common chronic disease areas of developmental age affecting health at the later stages of life. From EFA and member associations, Breda Flood, Per-Ake Wecksell, Susanna Palkonen, Otto Spranger and Anna Androlovics participated and voiced patient concerns. Breda presented patient perspective in the plenary and Susanna moderated a workshop on patient involvement in medical decisions. Breda introduced EFA and spoke about the work it does to promote patient perspective and represent patient needs. She described how the Polish Presidency is a valuable opportunity to provide allergy and respiratory disease with the attention it deserves at European level. Susanna’s presentation stressed the priority of empowering patients – and especially children – to manage their disease; the actions and tools available to promote this; and what the barriers to meaningful patient involvement currently are.
The final goal of the meeting will be the preparation of the Polish Presidency conclusions on early diagnosis, prevention and monitoring of allergy and asthma for children.
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