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22 May 2020

EFA President Mikaela Odemyr and EFA Director Susanna Palkonen have been selected to join the prestigious Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) network as GINA Advocates, recognising EFA patients leading voice on asthma.

Created in 1993 with the support of the World Health Organisation, GINA pioneers scientific advice and consensus tools to reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity and mortality worldwide.

EFA to provide European asthma patients’ perspective

Supporters since its early years, EFA is delighted to officially become part of this global effort to help guide healthcare professionals, help patients and raise awareness about asthma around the world.

“At EFA, we work on three main pillars: Inform, prevent and care. Becoming GINA advocates is an excellent opportunity to provide evidence on asthma and the genuine patient perspective to experts, public health officials and professionals. Patients should be part of every decision that will affect their health and treatment”, said EFA President Mikaela Odemyr.

Collaboration already in the past

EFA has already collaborated with GINA during World Asthma Days. Celebrated every May 5, EFA and its Members always mark the day with. Asthma awareness is developing positively, yet a lot remains to be done on both a European and national level to support respiratory patients across Europe best.

Support respiratory patients across Europe

The recent Active Patients ACCESS Care Report, investigated more than 700 patients’ access to diagnosis, treatment and care and provides detailed insights in seven European countries.

In particular, the results show that patients need a better diagnosis in the first place. Across Europe, it takes three years on average from first symptoms to a proper diagnosis. A lost time for patients, who should already be receiving the right treatment to prevent worsening of the disease.

Also disease management needs to be improved as asthma patients rely too much and too often on the emergency room. One in four patients declared visiting the emergency room at least once in the previous year. A number that rises to one in two patients amongst those living with severe asthma.

“Being able to provide our specific knowledge and experience from European patients to this pioneering network body is a great honour. We really look forward to join the global team of GINA Advocates”, said EFA Director Susanna Palkonen.

Starting from May, EFA President Mikaela Odemyr and EFA Director Susanna Palkonen will act as GINA Advocates for a 3-years term.