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IAPO - International Alliance of Patients' Organizations
4th Global Patients Congress – Istanbul, Turkey – 23-25 February 2010

At the end of February, IAPO hosted its 4th Global Patients Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.  This unique event brought together 130 patient group representatives and other healthcare stakeholders from 29 countries around the world, to participate in an exciting programme focused on 'Strengthening Healthcare Systems Globally: The Value of Patient Engagement'.

Click here to view the Congress report.

Click here to view the Congress presentations.

Click here to view the Congress photographs.

The Congress provided an important opportunity for patient advocates, across diseases and across borders, to come together and participate in a diverse and interactive event.  Participants were able to foster global networks, develop practical skills, and engage with and understand key policy issues that affect patients in the international arena now. Many delegates reported feeling inspired and renewed as they return to carry on their important work towards meaningful patient engagement in healthcare systems at the local, national, regional and global level.

 "Thank you, and congratulations for putting together a really inspirational event that was not only well organised but also very enjoyable. I have to say I would expect nothing less from IAPO!  So, thank you again. I am already looking forward to working on some of the ideas and initiatives that came out of the conference."
Kaisa Immonen-Charalambous
Projects Manager, Thalassaemia International Federation

With a range of insightful, multi-disciplinary and participative plenary and workshop sessions delegates discussed and explored meaningful engagement in healthcare design and delivery.  There were valuable opportunities to hear from many engaging speakers, including representatives from the Council of Europe, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

IAPO’s Congress also provided an invaluable platform for patient led and patient supported initiatives at a number of levels to be promoted and shared for the benefit of all of those working in the area of patient engagement.  Examples of initiatives shared at the Congress included:

• The launch of The World Health Communication Associates’ (WHCA) Action Guide on Health Literacy, part 2, which includes information on the importance of health literacy and how stakeholders can contribute to its improvement.  IAPO was involved in the development of the guide and IAPO members contributed a number of case studies portraying how patient groups can improve health literacy. 

• Esperantra’s Patient University Programme for cancer patients in Peru, which was presented by Eva Maria Ruiz de Castilla of Esperantra, highlights the need for patient access to information and how this can be facilitated through the capacity and skills building of individual and groups of patients through programmes such as the Patient University in Peru. 

• IAPO members’ Judy Birch, Pelvic Pain Support Network and Lynne van Poelgeest-Pomfret, World Federation of Incontinence Patients presented their work on successfully ensuring that patients are more involved in the development of professional guidelines.  This initiative was an outcome of their partnership through IAPO’s Twinning Programme.

These are just a few examples of the valuable work shared throughout the Congress, which delegates will take back to their organizations.

Thank you to all those who participated in and supported the 4th Global Patients Congress. 

Congress Programme
Click here to view the Congress Handbook and here to view the Congress Overview.

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Patients call for greater support for meaningful involvement in healthcare decision making as a means to ensure equitable distribution of limited health resources.  Read more.

IAPO Strategic Plan 2010-2014
At the IAPO Annual General Meeting, which took place on 23 February 2010, the IAPO Strategic Plan 2010-2014 was launched. The new Strategic Plan can be viewed online here.



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International Alliance of Patients' Organizations
49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH
Tel +44 20 7250 8280; Fax +44 20 7250 8285
info@patientsorganizations.org  www.patientsorganizations.org