In other news EFA has made a large contribution to a new report on COPD published last month, and the GAAPP has been presented at a scientific conference for the first time
First GAAPP scientific conference symposium
On August 21 at the 21st World Congress of Asthma organized by the Interasma Global Asthma Association in Québec, Canada, the Global Allergy and Asthma Patient Platform (GAAPP) held its very first scientific conference symposium. The symposium was entitled “ The Patient Voice: Allergy and Asthma Patient Activities around the World” and was chaired by Carlos Baena-Cagnani from Argentina and Robert Oliphant, CEO of the Canadian Asthma Patient Association.
EFA is a member of GAAPP and former EFA President Erkka Valovirta was asked to present the EFA Respiratory Allergy Project at the symposium. Presentations were given on the results of a survey of asthma patient needs in Canada, on the impact of patient organisations on the WHO initiative GARD (Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases), and on asthma schools and camps for children in Austria. EFA Project and Fundraising Officer Antje-H. Fink-Wagner introduced GAAPP as a new globally active organisation for patients and spoke about the activities of patients in China and India. The audience included WCA President Louis-Philippe Boulet, and the current president of the South American Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Organization (SLaai), Sandra N. Gonzalez.
GAAPP is based in Vienna and began its activities 2011 after board elections at the EAACI conference in Istanbul. It currently has 23 member organisations spread across on all continents
EFA contributes to new Expert Report on COPD management
‘The Shifting Paradigm in COPD Management’, a new Expert Report on COPD initiated and developed by Pharmaceutical Company Takeda, was published in September with input from EFA. The report was announced at a press conference held at the 2012 European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress which took place from 1st to 5th September in Vienna. The report reflects up to date research and includes opinion articles written by key international respiratory experts. Patient perspective was provided by EFA Board Member and Treasurer Ondrej Rybnicek in his foreword to the report, as well as in his introduction to the ‘Patient Story’ section which features individual patient accounts.
The report and its title reflect recent shifts in COPD research, where emphasis is increasingly placed not only on the reduction of current symptoms but also on that of future risk and disease prevention. It draws lessons from the cardiovascular arena which has introduced personalised future risk assessments as standard practice, and stresses the importance of good patient-physician relationships when it comes to long-term treatment success. The report also re-emphasises the fact that exacerbations are under-reported by patients, with half failing to let their physician know when they occur.