Following the success of the first ever European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day in 2018, members of the European Heart Valve Disease Alliance, met in Paris this year and agreed that the event would be better represented over the course of a week in 2019. The Alliance, made up of patient organisations from France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Ireland and the UK, chose the third week of September as the date for the European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week.
“It has been a pleasure hosting the meeting for the Heart Valve Disease European Alliance here in Paris and we have made great strides with our plans for this year’s awareness event,” said Phillipe Thebault, President of Alliance du Coeur. “Holding it over a week will allow for more opportunities to spread our message about the need for more awareness of heart valve disease across Europe.”
The week will focus on The Power of Positive ageing with key messaging around the four As:
- Awareness: Call upon governments, scientific societies and industry to collaborate with patient organisations to run national campaigns to raise awareness of heart valve disease
- Ask: Call upon governments and national payers to fund a check for heart valve disease as part of the annual health check for over 65s
- Action: Call upon healthcare authorities to put in place national heart valve disease guidelines
- Access: Call upon national healthcare providers to provide wide and equal access to heart valve disease therapies
“With our ageing population and the high numbers of patients being diagnosed with heart valve disease across Europe, awareness of the disease is essential,” said Eleonora Selvi, Head of Communications for Cuore Italia. “The six countries involved in the European Alliance are all dedicated to making sure that the Four As are realised for the benefit of heart valve disease patients across Europe.”
At the meeting, a number of activities were proposed for each of the participating countries involved. Some suggestions included patient engagement dialogue and roundtables, clinician collaboration and information sharing and a discussion on new methods for developing more awareness around heart valve disease.
To find out more about the European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week in your area contact your closest European Heart Valve Disease Alliance Patient Organisation:
- Ireland – Croi
- Italy – Cuore Italia
- France – Alliance du Coeur
- Netherlands – Hart Volgers
- Spain – Aepovac
- UK – Heart Valve Voice