The European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) works at EU, national, regional and local level to promote equity in women’s and family health and improve the ability of citizens to improve their uptake and control of their own health issues. The EIWH creates awareness of women’s health issues through its reports, position papers and submissions in response to EU Commission and other consultation processes. The EIWH consults with its extensive network on a regular basis and issues information, news and other forms of publication about it’s activities periodically throughout the year.
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The EIWH is a partner in the Joint Action, Chrodis 2014 The “CHRODIS” Joint Action is addressing chronic diseases and promoting healthy ageing across the life cycle, co-financed by the EU Health Programme. The CHRODIS objective is to help EU countries and regions exchange good practices in tackling chronic diseases. A special focus will be given to health promotion and disease prevention, multi-morbidity (ie people with more than 1 long-term condition) and diabetes.
The CHRODIS Joint Action, involves 38 organisations from 22 Member States plus Norway and Iceland, and runs until March 2017. The principal outcome will be a mechanism for collecting, validating, scaling up and transferring good practices to address Chronic Diseases, multi-morbidity and diabetes.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal diseases and depression,
are increasingly prevalent in the EU. According to the World Health Organisation, 86% of deaths in Europe are due to chronic diseases, and the joint EC/OECD “Health at a Glance: Europe 2012” report1, notes that more than 6% of people aged 20-79 years in the European Union, or 30 million people, had diabetes in 2011.
Many chronic diseases are either preventable or can be delayed, and rates can be vastly tackled by reducing or avoiding key risk factors such as smoking, over-nutrition and unbalanced diets, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and exposure to certain chemical substances. Part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to tackling the chronic disease burden in Europe is to co-finance projects and actions, carried out by Member States, through the Health Programme.
CHRODIS is the first EU-funded Joint Action in the area of chronic diseases and healthy ageing. It is funded under the 2013 Plan, with 50% EC co-funding of € 4,6 million and a total cost of € 9,2 million.
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The Cancom Project is an initiative that addresses the information needs of women. When the project initiated in 1996 by the European Institute of Women’s Health, women were minority users of information technology, particularly the Internet. Cancom provides women with high quality information that has been used since it went online in 1998. The project also creates an Internet experience for women on two floppy discs that contained the project information and a specially developed version of a browser. Some 600 packs were distributed and women’s groups held over sixty public health information days using the pack and printouts from Cancom. A separate project report analysed the ways in which different groups of women obtained, used and managed information. Cancom is a cost effective way of providing good, high value information to people.
The European Institute of Women’s Health is a partner in the ENGENDER Project and will be responsible for the ongoing development after the project closes. The ENGENDER Project is a co-funded project by the European Commission, DG Health. The Project has partners in 9 EU countries and contributors in 20 EU states. The project provides information in the form of policy briefings on models that interest to policymakers and other key stakeholders trying to identify good policy models and support information to ensure the development of good gender policies for all citizens. The ENGENDER website currently has over 560 information files on gender related actions and activity.
The European Institute of Women’s Health is participating in iSAC Project, an European Commission co-funded project as a partner. This project is about mobilising information to all citizens. This will impact by its potential to increase the value from e-government actions. It started September 2009. iSAC is an on-line SAC that has been designed following a citizen-centred, citizen-inclusive and communitycentred approach. Its mission is to attend to citizens´ demands on-line, by retrieving and managing information from existing databases. It aims: to improve the efficiency and capacity of responses from local SACs; to reduce the time, money, stress, administrative burdens and other resources invested by both citizens and companies, especially SMEs, in trying to find information about their local administration; to work towards a Single European Information Society for all, by installing a common on-line citizens´ attention and information service in a range of different scenarios and different SAC across the European Union.
EU Facts and Figures – EU Country Overviews for Health
The European Institute of Women’s Health is compiling facts and figures on health statistics disaggregated by gender across the EU by country.
The European Institute of Women’s Health are participating in VALUE+ Project, an European Commission co-funded project as a partner. VALUE+ is an European Commission, DG Health supported project to improve the involvement of patient associations in health-related European studies and research. There has been a shift in health policy priorities towards considering a broad spectrum of citizen and patient needs. There needs to be open, transparent and cooperative health systems, promoting participation and encouraging involvement of patients whenever possible and must form an essential part of all change processes in healthcare systems.
European Partnership for Action Against Cancer
The European Commission launched the Cancer Partnership in September 2009 to invigorate Europe’s fight against cancer. The European Institute of Women’s Health is a collaborating partner in the European Partnership Action against Cancer focusing specifically on women´s cancers in the work packages for prevention and screening. With more than three million new cases and 1.7 million deaths each year, cancer is the second biggest cause of death in Europe. One third of cancer cases could be prevented. The European Cancer Partnership has set a target to reduce new cancer cases by 15% by 2020. To this end, the Partnership brings together key cancer stakeholders from Member States and the EU to step up the fight against cancer.
EY2012 Age Coalition
The EU has declared 2012 as the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. EY2012 will serve as a framework for raising awareness, identifying and disseminating good practice and encouraging policy makers and stakeholders to promote active ageing. The European Institute of Women’s Health is a member of the EY2012 Coalition and will undertake several initiatives to highlight women’s specific health concerns during the year.
EY2012 Manifesto for an Age-Friendly EU
On 7 November 2011, the European Parliament Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity and the EY2012 Coalition of stakeholders launched the Manifesto for an Age-Friendly European Union to encourage stakeholders to collaborate at the EU and national levels in order to promote active ageing and solidarity between generations. The European Institute of Women’s Health is signatory of the Manifesto and will be working to help achieve its goals.
Revision of the Clinical Trials Directive
The European Institute of Women’s Health is looking forward to becoming actively engaged in the revision of the Clinical Trials Directive (CTD). The EIWH sees this as an opportunity to incorporate lessons learned from the past, but also to take a hard look at how to make this Directive fit for purpose for the research environment over the next decades. The Institute’s particular interest is that the Directive enables and supports the drive for “personalised medicines” for patients of all ages of women, men and children. The EIWH is focused on two very specific issues:
1) women in clinical trials and
2) older people and clinical trials.
European Charter for Health Equity
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) launched the European Charter for Health Equity on 9 December 2010. The Charter can be signed until the end of 2011. There are large differences in the health status of individuals throughout Europe, both within and between the nations. Economic and political stresses are particularly burdening the socially deprived, most vulnerable and under-served population groups. The European Charter for Health Equity calls on civil society to speed up and collaborate in multi-sectorial actions on Health Inequalities. The European Institute of Women’s Health signed the Charter and works to achieve its goals.
European Charter for Health Equity Website
European Public Health Alliance Policy Committee
The European Institute of Women’s Health serves on the EPHA’s Policy Committee.
ECDC Partner in Antibiotics Awareness Day
The European Institute of Women’s Health participated as a partner in the European Centre for Disease Control’s Antibiotics Awareness Day.
IOF Osteoporosis Advisory Panel
The European Institute of Women’s Health serves on the IOF Advisory Panel.
European Patients’ Forum Advisory Committee
The European Institute of Women’s Health serves on the EPF advisory committee.
Mental Health Europe’s Violence Against Women Committee
The European Institute of Women’s Health serves on the Mental Health Europe’s Violence Against Women Committee.
SHE Project Advisory Group
The European Institute of Women’s Health serves on the SHE Project Advisory Group.
SHE Project Website
Fundamental Rights Agency’s NGO Platform
The European Institute of Women’s Health participates in the FRA NGO Platform.
Gender and Chronic Disease Factsheet/Policy Briefing Series
Chronic disease is the leading cause of illness and death in the EU. As a result, these diseases heavily burden EU citizens and their healthcare systems. With ageing populations and changes in lifestyle, chronic disease will increasingly affect the EU and its citizenry in the future. Chronic disease does not have the same effects on all individuals. Gender largely impacts susceptibility, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease. As a result, it is imperative that people across the EU are aware of how gendered exposures and vulnerabilities influence chronic disease. The impact of gender on chronic disease has been understudied and under-discussed throughout the EU. The European Institute of Women’s Health will generate bi-monthly policy briefings—factsheets—on a variety of chronic diseases beginning in April 2012. These two- to three-page policy briefings will be succinct and in basic English to raise health literacy levels and increase awareness at national and EU levels. The policy briefings will describe how gender impacts various chronic diseases and include policy recommendations in order to educate policymakers, stakeholders, and EU citizens. The EIWH aims to generate, publish, and distribute twenty-five (25) briefings in the next 12 months. Chronic diseases include but are not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes cancer, respiratory disease, autoimmune disease (such as Lupus), arthritis, musculoskeletal and osteoporosis specifically.