Patient Solidarity Day 2017 - bigger than ever.
We are delighted with the Patient Solidarity Day achievements this year. We had the highest number of supporters since the campaign began in 2011, with patient advocates from all over the world holding activities to mark the day. At least 175 organizations from 48 countries came together in solidarity calling for globally empowered patients.
We strongly believe that the success achieved could not have been possible without the strong multi-stakeholder collaboration that took place calling for globally empowered patients through knowledge. This was based on the belief that effective and successful patient empowerment depends on them having access to clear, usable information and the ability to accurately assess the credibility of this information.
Participation in advancing the empowerment call included hosting events such as hospital leafleting sessions in Panama, student advocacy workshops in Nigeria, patient information materials translated into Albanian and German, blood screening sessions in Afghanistan and international webinars in India and many more. Additionally, the social media conversation and engagement was very successful with organizations sharing the key messages of the day as well as coming up with new ways of defining what patient empowerment is through multi-sectoral dialogue.
Saturday, however, did not mark the end of these efforts. Throughout December, IAPO members are continuing to explore ways of advancing empowerment through knowledge.
Here is a list of the events and activities that members hosted on the day:
European Lung Foundation launched the European Patient Ambassador Programme (EPAP) in German.This is a free online course that equips patients with the skills and knowledge needed become effective patient representative.
Nada India Foundation along with Dakshama Health Education organized a peer led drug rehabilitation event at the The Beginning of New Life Centre to mark the Patient Solidarity Day in South Delhi, India. They interacted with people living with addiction and NCDs as part of patient empowerment process. Nada India peer educators and other leaders also joined the discussion and shared their insights.
Patients’ Rights Association in Kosova – Albania marked the day by holding lectures on patients rights as well as translating the IAPO Declaration on patient-centred healthcare into Albanian, making it a brochure and distributing as an effort to raise citizens' knowledge of their rights in the Kosovar Health System.
The Egyptian Association for Care of Heart Failure Patients hosted a symposium at the medical research institute in Alexandria hospital discussing heart failure and the meaning of Patient's solidarity Day and its benefits. Participants included patients, healthcare professionals and members of the Egyptian Society of Cardiology.
NGO SLAP - Save Liver marked the day for the first time in Macedonia by handing out leaflets as an effort to push for the understanding of patients in relation to the day’s theme of empowerment in the sphere of health.
Sickle cell and Young Stroke Survivors – UK/Nigeria held a student sensitization workshop session at Government Secondary School Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. The event was structured as a sensitization program to ensure the right support is available for students living with Sickle cell.
Hepatitis Foundation of Ghana marked the day, by conducting a health education program on Radio Central in Cape Coast and Radio Ghana in Accra to raise awareness of the significant need for, and benefit of, empowered and informed patients. Additionally, Atinka FM in Accra had a phone interview with Mr. Theobald Owusu-Ansah during news bulletin. A health education program was also held on 4th December, at Coastal television station in Cape Coast. The hepatitis Foundation continues in its efforts to mark Patient Solidarity Day with a community gathering program set to be held on 23rd December, 2017 at Agbozume in the Ketu South District of the Volta region of Ghana to wrap up the year's activities.
Community Development Awareness and Health Empowerment Foundation (CDAHEF) – Nigeria Carried out a range of sensitization activities to raise awareness of patients’ rights and the need for empowerment. The activities included a walk to raise awareness and promote discussions, and engagement with local media.
Adina Peru celebrated Patient Solidarity Day 2017 by holding an educational workshop for 100 patients from different areas of Lima (Peru) to raise awareness on patients’ right on access to health. The workshop discussed ways of engaging doctors, technical-administrative staff and patients to improve health services
Fundación De Artritis Reumatoidea De Panamá (Funarp) As an effort to empower patients through knowledge, they designed a brochure that clarifies definitions and provides important tips to control one of the risk factors of chronic non-communicable diseases: obesity. They handed out 4,000 fliers at Santo Tomás hospitals, Children's Hospital, Metropolitan Hospital Complex of the Social Security Fund and Pediatric Specialties of the Social Security Fund. They also prepared 100 bags of cleaning supplies which were distributed among patients in Santo Tomás.
Fundación Psoriasis de Panamá in commemoration of Patient Solidarity Day, made a visit to the Children's Hospital in the dermatology area where with the support of volunteers from various universities they handed out leaflets, which were on topics of self-care, benefits of self-care and advice on a healthy diet.
The Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO) marked the day on 6th December by having an event during which they highlighted their accomplishments and supporters during the year 2017 in advocating for patients in line with the empowered patient through knowledge theme.
Uganda Alliance of Patients' Organizations (UAPO) an umbrella organization made of: Community Health & Information (CHAIN), Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU), Sickle Cell Association Uganda (SAU), Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organization (UWOCASO), National Organization of People Living with Hepatitis (NOPLHB), The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) and the National Care Center (NACARE) all IAPO members celebrated Patient Solidarity Day on 6th December by hosting an event. It included a health camp with screenings, talks and an exhibition all as an effort towards empowering patients through knowledge.
We were once again extremely delighted to have the official endorsement of the WHO Regional Office for Africa, promoting its commitment to patients’ rights by endorsing Patient Solidarity Day. They showed support through engagement on social media sending an extremely important message regarding their commitment to seeing genuine empowerment of patients in the region.
Centre for Initiative and Development (CFID) Taraba – Nigeria Held a stakeholders meeting, with the Media, patient groups and other CSOs to discuss the theme of the event. The Executive Director of CFID addressed two local media representatives using the IAPO Media press release template. Capacity building sessions were carried out for 4 Patient Groups, 3 Civil Society Organizations in Taraba state on Patient Empowerment. 14 persons (2 each) represented the organizations. Free Hepatitis Health education and testing was also done for 200 people in Jalingo, Taraba.
Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA) – Uganda held a one day medical camp in Wakiso which included the following services: HIV/AIDS testing, Hepatitis B testing, Cancer Screening, Dental check-up and treatment, optical check-up and treatment, malaria testing and treatment and blood donation. Additionally, the Students for Equity in Health Care (SEHC), a medical association formed by AGHA to provide and advocate for health using the human rights based approach, held a side event during which they donated medical equipment to hospitals.
Life Saving Organisation for Afghanistan held a rally in Jalabad district mobilising the community in their area along with government line agencies such as the District Health Officer, District Population Officer and Education Officer to raise awareness on blood transmitted diseases (Thalassemia, Haemophilia), highlighting standard precautions set out for the prevention of transmission of diseases that can be acquired by contact with blood.
AVEDESTRAS in Venezuela celebrated PSD by holding workshops with patients in hospitals to discuss their experiences and educate them on the importance of empowerment through knowledge.
Luz de Esperanta Peru held an awareness campaign in a hospital in Lima giving patients a platform to talk about their experiences after which they sensitized them on their rights focusing on patient empowerment through knowledge.
Positive Health Media Initiative (PHMI) – Nigeria marked the day by having advocacy visits to relevant stakeholders (General Hospital North-Bank, Motorcycle riders union) on 23rd to 25th Oct 2017, awareness rally with volunteers and motorcycle riders on 2nd Dec 2017 and lastly visited the General Hospital North-Bank for a meeting with patients and health professionals.