September is approaching, and so is the annual initiative of the EAU – Urology Week. We would like to invite you all to join this fascinating campaign and contribute to a meaningful cause – public awareness of urological diseases. What is the background of this initiative?Today, it is safe to say that the EAU has established itself as the leading platform for the harmonisation and advancement of European urology, shaping policies, educational programmes and facilitating the exchange of science in all of its activities. At the same time we realise, that raising the level of urological care in Europe does not stop here. To be able to maximise our efforts and break through to the next level, we must establish a fruitful dialogue with those on the receiving end of our work – urological patients.
This field of work is not new for the EAU, but there is still much to be learnt and to be done. The success of our patient-oriented activities depends on our ability to mobilise joint effort – and empower patient organisations, national urological societies, urologists, nurses and other affiliated professionals to bring their expertise to the table. As a professional association, we do not have the capacity to reach all European patients. But as the EAU, an umbrella organisation, we can develop programmes and initiatives to support all our partners and our members – thus building a bridge to the patients across many borders.
Currently, the EAU is developing several initiatives, with patients and general public as our primary target group. Urology Week is one such initiative. It is a campaign that we have organised for six years now to increase awareness about urological conditions and draw attention to the issues that urology patients have to face in their battle with these serious diseases. While Urology Week is not a new initiative, it is gaining a new meaning and a new boost.
The experience of previous years has been highly rewarding, with more than 30 events organised every year under the umbrella of Urology Week by our partners, volunteers and enthusiasts. These events have taken place in Europe and beyond its borders, and in some countries have become a tradition.
This scope is a great achievement, but we also realise that our potential is much bigger. In order to take Urology Week to the next step, it is vital that we engage many more partners and enthusiasts and that we create a movement, a true cause. Luckily we have many great examples for inspiration – just think of the success that breast cancer awareness campaigns have in many European countries.
Of course, this is the vision. And we will be moving towards this vision step by step, setting for ourselves specific goals for each year’s campaign. This year we concentrate on building a platform that empowers national societies, hospitals, resident groups, patient organisations and any interested individuals to draw attention of the general public to urology– by organising an event, launching a campaign, or holding a small workshop. Our new Urology Week website is now a hub where you can find all the information you need to get you started with planning an event – big or small. We have also made a very practical toolkit which will guide you through the planning process and offer you many simple ideas for great impact.
Another goal we are planning to achieve is to give much more exposure to the events that take place during Urology Week. It is important that we know that ours is a huge effort, with many countries participating. If we connect and share experiences, and also tell the rest of Urology Week participants about the successes, challenges, ideas and inspirations – we will make a first noticeable step towards a movement, rather than a collection of individual efforts. What are better ways to connect than by using social media, such a Twitter (@uroweb #urologyweek) and Facebook (Urology Week 2011)? Do visit our website to find out what this means and how you can join!
Creating awareness about urological conditions and urology is something we do every day in our work. We can make a bigger impact if we join our forces together!
For more information: www.urologyweek.org