Urology Week 2015: EU meeting, press campaigns to patient counselling

Thu, 1 Oct 2015 • Joel Vega

Diverse activities marked this year’s Urology Week ranging from the political, institutional to the personal as hospitals, clinics, urological associations and patient groups conducted information campaigns, dialogues with patients and press briefings that focused on prostate cancer and other urological diseases.

“We are encouraged by and thankful for the enthusiastic involvement in the wide range of activities led by doctors, nurses and patient organisations to raise awareness on urological conditions. Through lectures, press interviews and other information campaigns, participants of Urology Week have promoted wider public awareness with regards the treatment of urological conditions,” said EAU Secretary General Prof. Chris Chapple.

From September 14 to 20, several health institutions across Europe marked Urology Week with countries such as Belgium, Poland, France and Spain hosting dialogues with patients, press interviews and educational activities. Germany, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia and the Netherlands held free consults, demonstration of robotic surgery, press conferences and exclusive radio/TV interviews to promote understanding of health issues such as prostate, kidney and bladder cancers.

On September 16, the European Association of Urology, in partnership with the patient organisation Europa Uomo and MEP Mr. Philippe De Backer, held the European Prostate Cancer Awareness Day (EPAD) at the EU headquarters in Brussel. They discussed current challenges in treating prostate diseases, particularly prostate cancer, and examined how various sectors can integrate long-term strategies with regards the delivery of optimal healthcare.

“Prostate diseases are a significant health problem in our ageing society and we must find new cost-efficient treatments, better care and quality of life for all citizens,” said De Backer.

Chapple highlighted the challenge in dealing with Europe’s highly diverse healthcare systems. “As a European Association we encounter the differences in national legislation on healthcare issues on a daily basis. With demographic ageing and the shift towards chronic conditions we must explore ways of collaborating at EU level to provide equality of optimal individualised treatment,” noted Chapple.

In social media such as Twitter and Facebook, the EAU has also initiated the Urology Week campaign to disseminate information and reach a wider public. More than 300 people tweeted at least 1,272 messages about or related to Urology Week. Within the week, the Twitter posts accounted for a total of 1.3 million impressions or views. You can find a social media recap right here.

With the success of both the traditional and social media promotions, Chapple underscored the role of urologists and other health professionals in bridging the information gap between the public and healthcare specialists.

“We are looking forward to the participation of healthcare professionals in hosting and sharing events related to urology. In future Urology Week events we hope to again actively engage the media and continue this vital dialogue with the public,” he said.