‘Italy’s experience with pneumococcal vaccination points the way forward in fighting respiratory illnesses ’
In the current transition to a new phase of the pandemic, it is crucial to act fast and together, and to use the summer window to prepare for possible future pandemic surges next autumn/winter and beyond.
We no longer have only the flu to consider. In fact, we have a trio of vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases (VPRDs), and we need to ensure that pneumococcal pneumonia, Covid-19 and influenza are all on the radar of health institutions.
These diseases place a burden on health systems: every year, VPRDs result in significant illnesses and high levels of hospitalisations in vulnerable populations, putting additional pressure on already strained healthcare systems.
Mariano Votta, the Director of the Active Citizenship Network, the organisers of European Patients’ Rights Day, explores the importance of civic engagement in safeguarding the future health of Europeans.
More than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which the health of each one of us has been jeopardised more than ever, do not seem to have been sufficient to increase the need for a “European Health Union” among citizens. The theme of health was among the least discussed in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe. A paradox, a signal one should pay attention to or a missed opportunity? Probably, a bit of everything.
Active Citizenship Network is delighted to co-organize “Making sustainability an easy choice for EU citizens”, a digital conference planned on 16 Feb 2021.
In this occasion will be presented the informal Inter-institutional Group “SDGs for well-being and consumers’ protection”, promoted by Cittadinanzattiva through its EU branch ActiveCitizenship Network (ACN), the European Consumers Union (ECU) and the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS).
The initiative is endorsed by some MEPs and 47 among National and EU Associations.
The contrast to inequalities - which has always been a privileged context of civic commitment for Cittadinanzattiva - seems to be the guiding principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Hence the firm adhesion of Cittadinanzattiva to the official invitation addressed to us at the beginning of 2020 by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, to collaborate in spreading the contents of the Pillar. This adhesion follows the identification of Cittadinanzattiva as a relevant stakeholder, by the European Commission, in the preliminary meetings held in various countries.
18th of April occurs the European Patients' Rights Day.
After many years, the reasons that led us to establish it in 2007 and to encourage its celebration throughout Europe year after year are more current than ever.
The dramatic situation who we are living is showing once again the relevance to improve the enforceability, the implementation of patients' rights in Europe and in each Member State to reduce health inequalities.
In this period of objective difficulty, the role that active citizenship can take is fundamental to give the signal that in Italy there is more, and that the population is enormously richer in awareness and civil sense than Italian themselves assumed. We know we don't live in a perfect world, there are citizens who convey fake news, but also socially responsible citizens.
We are at the Second Edition of the European Civic Prize on Chronic Pain promoted by Active Citizenship Network and managing to carry out this work by expanding the number of experiences collected is a source of pride. For 40 good practices collected around Europe, there will be another 4,000 or 400,000 that we have missed, and in the end we hope so.
The official launch for the 2019-2024 term, of the MEPs Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” was held in Brussels in the European Parliament on January 28th with an event titled “Joined For Vaccination: addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Increasing Uptake in EU. A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective”, hosted by the Italian MEP Brando Benifei.
Vaccination programs are facing considerable challenges, such as a decline in vaccination coverage in some countries, measles outbreaks and shortages in supply. In addition, misconceptions about vaccination can further shift the public focus from the individual and collective benefits of vaccination to distrust and vaccination hesitancy. A study presented at this year's EU-JAV Annual Meeting shed light on public behavior about vaccination on social media.
As underlined in the context of the Annual European Citizen’s Energy Forum, when the global population will reach 10 billion, experts warn that the equivalent of almost three planets would be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles – and this could be by 2050! A majority of EU citizens are now conscious of environmental issues and they are willing to make environmentally correct choices in their consumption.