On the 29th of March EFA was invited to bring the patient perspective to the EU summit on Prevention and Self-Management of Airway Diseases. The event was organised by EUFOREA at the European Parliament, to raise awareness of the upper airways diseases like chronic rhino sinusitis.
Allergies and chronic airway diseases are the most common chronic diseases in children and throughout the life cycle. It presents a major worldwide health problem irrespective of income. However there is scare access to early diagnosis, because there is limited awareness on the early symptoms and poor education on how to self-manage these diseases.
As the voice of the European patients suffering from allergy and airways diseases, EFA was invited to present on patients’ empowerment at the European Summit hosted at the European Parliament. EFA’s Vice President Erna Botjes identified the three main pillars EFA believes are essential to implement an innovative management strategy: education; self-management, and policy and programmes.
Erna explained how health literacy is crucial for awareness, individual confidence, and to improve patients’ attitude, in particular among young patients. As an example, she presented the role of EFA’s Patient Education Working Group, a useful platform to share best examples of patients’ materials with the objective of improving education among people living with asthma, allergy, and COPD. Other EFA initiatives like the HEY YA report on the adherence of young people with asthma and how mHealth can be useful for disease control, prediction of the symptoms, and behavioural change, like the myAirCoach EU project were also presented.
From EFA’s perspective, public policy is the pathway for people to receive good standards of health care, supporting patients’ rights, and designing preventative health.
Erna’s full empowerment presentation can be found here.
We wish to thank EUFOREA, the European Forum for Research and Education in Allergy and Airway diseases, for their invitation and work to reducing the prevalence and burden of chronic respiratory diseases in Europe via education, research, development, and implementation of the principles of Precision Medicine.