EFA Allergy Awareness Project
Over the past month EFA has circulated letters to its partner organisations inviting them to ask their members to sign EFA’s Call to Action on respiratory allergies in Europe. EFA sincerely thanks its partners for their assistance as we have now collected just over 1,400 signatures since the website was launched a year ago. Among the signatories there are five Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and over half of the total is from patients and medical experts from across the globe.
Over the past weeks, the EFA members who participated in the Helsinki Workshop on how to start up a national programme for respiratory allergies provided updates on progress within their respective countries and regions.
The context of Italy was deemed very complex compared to the other countries at the workshop, Norway and Bulgaria, due to the regional differences in healthcare systems and population density. As a result, a regional programme was deemed the most realistic approach possible for FEDERASMA as a start. In Tuscany, EFA member FEDERASMA confirms meeting with key decision makers to finalize a project for establishing a regional programme.
In Norway, the Norwegian Allergy and Asthma Federation (NAAF) reports the Directorate of Health arranged a stakeholder conference for the establishment of a national allergy programme on February 11th and NAAF participated with nearly all representatives of the NAAF delegation who were present in Helsinki. The Norwegian government has thus far agreed to create a national programme in Norway for a fixed period from 2014-2023. For more information on the results from the conference on February 11th, please refer to the NAAF contribution in this newsletter in the Member News area.
In Bulgaria, the Association of Bulgarians with Bronchial Asthma and COPD (ABBA) is preparing an information campaign beginning in March on respiratory diseases for 2013 with various milestones. For this Spring, these include a training session for journalists, Schools of Allergy and Asthma in across six regions of the country, a World Asthma Day Roundtable in May on respiratory diseases with Dr. Daniela Daritkova, Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Committee, to help form an Expert Council for the development of a strategy for a national programme on respiratory disease.
EFA congratulates on the progress in Norway, Italy and Bulgaria and is committed in supporting their work.
EFA COPD Project – Minimum Standards for COPD Care for Europe!
In its latest news, at the beginning of 2013, EFA Fundraising and Project Officer Antje Fink-Wagner confirmed that Dr. Jørgen Vestbo will be EFA’s COPD Project Medical Advisor. He will assume the role as a medical expert with whom the EFA Secretariat will consult for advice during the project when necessary. Dr. Vestbo is the Chair of the Science Committee at the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Manchester University in the United Kingdom. He previously participated in EFA’s COPD Workshops at the European Parliament and will be an instrumental advisor for the duration of the project. Currently, the chair of the EFA COPD Working Group, Michael Wilken, and the EFA Secretariat are collaborating on the preliminary questionnaire for EFA Members for the purpose of outlining the guidelines for minimum standardization of care for COPD patients in Europe from patient perspective.
EFA Oxygen Harmonisation Project
As announced in the EFA e-Zine newsletter from January, the EFA Secretariat has resumed its collection of patient stories for our Oxygen Harmonisation Project. EFA encourages all its newsletter readers to spread the word to their friends, family members and other contacts who may require oxygen while traveling by airplane. Stories should follow the outline created in order to provide all necessary information for clearly demonstrating the inconveniences and hardships patients in need fo oxygen must endure while traveling. All patients interested in submitting their stories should send them to the EFA Fundraising and Programme Officer Antje Fink-Wagner (email@example.com) and to EFA Membership and Programme Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).