Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters of EFA, I am happy to inform that this year EFA is receiving an operational grant from the European Commission Health Programme, covering 60% of our core activities as an organisation. We are very grateful and take it as a recognition that it is important to represent people with allergy, asthma and COPD at the European level, and the participation of national patient groups in EU policy making. At the same time, EFA launches our Project Programme, designed to improve care of people with allergy, asthma and COPD in Europe and the capacity of our members, based on needs. This programme groups together our Multiannual Allergy Project and COPD project, following the launch of EFA Book on Minimum Standards of Care for COPD Patients in Europe last November and the EU co-funded research projects EFA partners in. We are also hoping to launch two new projects looking at vaccination and perceptions of patients and adherence and health literacy of youngsters with asthma. As for the capacity building part of this programme, it will address specific needs for development of members as an organisation and collaborator with other stakeholders in their countries. EFA continues to collaborate in 4 projects co-funded by the EU Research programme FP7; U-BIOPRED, MEDALL, AIRPROM and EARIP. The whole project programme is designed to improve the care, and not any care, but patient centred care.
As part of our operational programme, in February we have our first training for patients and patient representatives on being involved with the European EMA through EFA as patent experts on allergy and respiratory diseases. Also in February, our first alignment meeting in the Baltic region in Vilnius Lithuania takes place, and we hope to see, hear from and present to our old and new colleagues from Baltic allergy, asthma and COPD patient groups the value of membership in our network. 17th of June, in connection of our AGM and strategic planning workshop on the 16th in Brussels we will have an exciting event at the European Parliament ‘Does Innovative EU research benefit Patients?’ featuring the results of the EU projects where we partner and discussing their value and involvement of patients. Our EU policy work continues, and the centre piece is our Manifesto for European Parliament Elections outlining and seeking for support for our advocacy priorities: 1. Develop and EU strategy on chronic diseases with disease specific chapters; 2. Invest in prevention – tackle health determinants; 3. Help ensuring equal access to care for each patient. I would like to use the opportunity to ask everyone to send the Manifesto to their members of parliament and ask them to sign please. This way, we bring the priorities of patients with allergy, asthma and COPD as priorities for the new Parliament.
EFA will soon launch a public call for evaluator and recruitment process a part-time Communication’s Officer to measure what we are doing and step up communication in our project and core work. In case of interest, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, our partnership with all relevant health care professional organisations, NGOs on environment and tobacco control and sustainable funding partnerships with corporate partners is even more important than ever! We need you and the patients need you – thank you and I look forward to continue the partnerships during this exiting year!