Gertrude Buttigieg, Chairperson of Malta Health Network (MHN) told us about the success of the EPAP events in Malta and their impact
The European Lung Foundation (ELF) was invited to present EPAP as part of Malta Health Network's (MHN) 10th anniversary celebrations which also coincided with Patient Solidarity Day.
Gertrude said: “I had heard about EPAP at the IAPO World Congress 2016 in London where I happened to do a presentation in the same workshop as the ELF representative who was presenting EPAP and I thought the idea was brilliant and wanted to bring it to Malta.”
MHN secured funding for Kate Hill and Kjeld Hansen, both Council Members at ELF, to travel to Malta to deliver two training sessions on 30 November and 1 December. Kate was also a member of the original EPAP development team and has run several EPAP taster training sessions in the UK (read our article about this here).
With this year’s Patient Solidarity Day theme as ‘Patient Empowerment Through Knowledge’ EPAP proved a great fit as the programme enables patients, carers and healthcare professionals to represent and successfully speak up for themselves and for others with a health condition. The audiences for the two events were made up of representatives from patient organisations, local community leaders and medical specialists.
Gertrude highlighted the benefits of EPAP for organisations like theirs: “One of the main aims of MHN is to find ways of empowering its patients and we think that education is one of the most powerful tools you can give anyone. Like the Chinese proverb goes; Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. EPAP is a very good tool and we thank you for sharing it with us as we do not have the resources to develop such a tool ourselves. If EPAP is spread among different countries and patient groups we will have stronger and well versed ‘advocates and ambassadors’ to speak to our politicians and policymakers. A big thank you for coming up with the EPAP project and allowing access to it; it is nice to network together so that we share resources and experiences.”
MHN is an independent, voluntary body which represents the interests of 30 patient, carer and professional organisations in Malta, the EU and internationally. View their website at www.maltahealthnetwork.org