Support groups for men with prostate cancer in Bulgaria, Iceland, Armenia and Latvia will be put forward for Europa Uomo membership at the forthcoming General Assembly in June. The Europa Uomo Board considered the organisations’ applications at its recent meeting – the first in its new offices in Antwerp.
“We’re delighted that our visits to these countries and our work with these organisations has paid off, and that our European family is growing,” says Board member Stig Lindahl. He has worked with Europa Uomo’s Prostate Cancer Patient Officer Izabella Pawlowska, based in Poland, and fellow Board member Pentti Tuohimaa to expand Europa Uomo’s network of prostate cancer support organisations.
“The provision of effective patient support organisations is very uneven, particularly in eastern and central European states,” he says. “For the past few years Europa Uomo has been seeking to establish an active presence in the region.”
Europa Uomo is working to reinforce the groups by providing access to training, information and expertise. It is also trying to support closer cooperation between members within regions. For many years, for example, Nordic countries have learned a lot from each other though regular meetings and information exchange.
“By including Iceland in this group, all members will gain a lot,” says Stig Lindahl. “Constellations of organisations can be started in both the Baltic and Balkan regions. We can also start regional patient awareness days, supported by healthcare providers, where we share the new information available.”
The Europa Uomo Board meeting also finalised the agenda for the General Assembly, to be held in Birmingham on 14th and 15th June, and discussed developments in Europa Uomo communications.