Press release - Psoriasis

Press release

For Immediate Release:

ECHT-EVAL 2018 – the German project implementing the WHO ‘Global Report on Psoriasis’

The Global Report on Psoriasis, a position paper issued by the WHO and focusing on the problem of the stigmatisation of people with visible skin diseases such as psoriasis, is aimed at empowering health authorities in Member States to implement appropriate measures to improve health care and fight social stigmatisation. To that end, the ‘ECHT EVAL 2018’ project was launched in Germany at the beginning of the year and has now been presented at the EADV congress in Paris. It designs and evaluates new formats for ‘destigmatisation’ in encounters between psoriasis sufferers and others. ‘We hope that other countries will follow this example’, says one of the authors of the Global Report, Prof Dr Swen Malte John from the University of Osnabrueck. Paris, September 12, 2018 – Psoriasis is a chronic, non-communicable skin disease characterized by bright, silvery-white scales on reddened (inflamed) patches of skin, mainly on the arms and legs, the scalp, but also on many other areas of the body, including the genitals. ‘Psoriasis is incurable, but can be well treated with suitable interdisciplinary therapies that improve the quality of life’, explains Prof John. As a ‘systemic disease’, it may also be associated with joint deformities and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, and may cause severe psychological problems, too. More than 60% of patients suffer from spells of depression. If visible areas such as the face, hairline or hands are affected, this is particularly problematic for patients, and in some cases has an enormous negative impact on their entire life. Approximately 2 million people in Germany suffer from psoriasis. Rejection, disgust, fear of contagion and social exclusion are frequent public responses that continually remind people with psoriasis of their problem. Not only do they suffer from symptoms that in many cases are inadequately treated, but they are often stigmatised in addition. According to a current FORSA survey (n=2,004), 10% of the population still believe that psoriasis might be infectious. 24% of interviewees would not start a partnership with a person with the disease, and 20% would not go to a public swimming pool with such a person. However, this skin disease invokes not only unjustified prejudices in the general social environment, in public facilities, means of transport, shops, restaurants or hotels, but also has a massive impact on professional careers. Psoriasis also results in a major economic burden caused by lost working days because of acute symptoms. Distressing experience

Global Report defines specific aims

The WHO has been focusing for some time already on ways of improving the situation of the at least 125 million people with psoriasis worldwide. In a resolution adopted in 2014 by the Member States of the World Health Assembly, psoriasis was recognised as another serious, non-communicable disease (NCD), alongside diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancer. The aim is to raise awareness of the disease and to focus the attention of physicians, skin specialists and health care policymakers on the fact that the symptoms suffered by those affected can be mitigated by early diagnosis, faster adequate treatment and easier access to health care, thus reducing the

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