Increasing consciousness and access to treatment, reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases across Europe – AWARNESS CAMPAIGN

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In the framework of the project Increasing consciousness and access to treatment, reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases across Europe ACN co-builted ( with the associations involved in the project) an European and national awareness campaign on proper lifestyles and on the prevention of the risks linked to cardiovascular disorders. It was decided to avoid threat/fear messages and the use of a dramatic style but to put at the heart of this campaign the feelings of hope, happiness and personal empowerment to inspire and motivate the audience.





Taking part in the decision-making process on health priorities”

20 – 21 April 2022

14:30 – 16:00 CEST

Given the current situation of uncertainty, the conference will be organized in a digital format.

To virtually attend the conference, please register here (registration is mandatory)


The European celebration of the XVI European Patients’ Rights Day (EPRD) will be organized by Active Citizenship Network (ACN) with its traditional format of a big multi-stakeholder conference focused on the role played by key actors in the decision-making process on health priorities. In particular, just before the end of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the expectations and requests of citizens and Patients Advocacy Groups (PAGs) addressed to the institutions will be analysed. What has been discussed? Why did only a small percentage of the initiatives promoted within the CoFoE concern health issues? How to ensure that the priorities defined in the context of CoFoE will be incorporated in the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs)? What is the level of involvement of citizens and patients’ associations in defining the implementation process of the priorities that have been identified in the health sector?


Therapeutic adherence during the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe: impact, experiences and perspectives from PAGs & relevant stakeholders

In line with its long-term commitment on therapeutic adherence, Active Citizenship Network (ACN) launched in the second half of 2021 a EU project with the aim to better contribute – starting from citizens’ and patients’ perspective – on understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the therapeutic plans for chronic patients. The ultimate goal is to enhance the actions and reactions implemented by PAGs and relevant stakeholders in front of the community of experts and institutions.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is placing a huge strain on health systems worldwide. Suggested solutions like social distancing and lockdowns in some areas to help contain the spread of the virus have highly affected special patient populations like those living with chronic illnesses who require regular revisits, follow-ups, check-ups, prescription refills, routine care, and medicines management but are unable to access healthcare facilities. Also, the increased likelihood of being infected at hospitals has forced most patients to avoid their health facilities for physician consultations.

With hospitals overburdened with COVID-19 cases, it is essential that patients with chronic conditions stay at home, if possible, both to avoid infection and keep emergency rooms free for people experiencing coronavirus symptoms. At the same time the health systems have to guarantee them continuity in their therapeutic plans. In the face of the current pandemic, our commitment, as an NGO working also at the European level, is to address and respond to the following questions: What are the main needs/difficulties of patients in following their therapeutic plans? Was there a correct and clear information? What is the contribution and the experience on the field of the various actors in the health sector (GPs, community pharmacists, nurses, etc.) in meeting the needs of patients with chronic diseases to ensure them the therapeutic adherence they need? What are the best practices implemented to date? What are the recommendations to make for the update of national chronic disease plans in general and, in particular, for the national plans to combat the pandemic? What is the role of Digital Health? What is the contribution made by PAGs? What are the challenges faced by chronic disease patients during COVID-19? What are the lessons learned for the health systems?


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The EU project consisted along 2021 in creating, implementing, and spreading an EU online survey realized with the contribution of a scientific committee and addressed to PAGs and patient organizations coming from different European countries. The questionnaire asked about the impact of Covid-19 on adherence to therapies and access to healthcare systems in their context, based on their experiences and on the information that they received.

Why a survey? To listen directly, from patient associations and PAGs, about the needs and difficulties experienced by patients with whom they are in touch, starting from those people who suffer from chronic diseases, due to the restrictions that this emergency imposes, and to intercept any problems and phenomena that still didn’t emerge, on which there is not enough attention in the public debate. 

The project has been realized thanks to the support of

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To know more about the commitment of Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network on therapeutic adherence, click here.

To know more on the project, please write to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last update: December 2021

AHEAD: Action for Health and Equity Addressing medical Deserts


In line with its commitment on internal areas at national level, Cittadinanzattiva is taking part to the AHEAD project, which started in April 2021.

The Project AHEAD addresses the challenge of medical deserts and medical desertification in Europe in an effort to help reduce health inequalities. The approach applied in this Project aims to build knowledge, encourage (digital) innovation in health service delivery to improve access and apply a participatory approach to public health policymaking. The Project will be carried out in Romania, Serbia, Moldova, Italy and the Netherlands and will benefit health policymakers, patients’ organizations, health professionals’ organisations, affected communities and more. The countries were carefully selected to highlight different manifestations of medical deserts and to address interconnectedness as a result of health worker mobility. The ultimate impact at society and EU level is better access to health services, especially in underserved areas, and more equitable access to sufficient, skilled and motivated health workers, starting with the countries involved in the Project.


EU PAGs & citizens together in the fight against stroke

The collateral damage of COVID-19: cardiovascular disease, the next pandemic wave

Evidence and data collected during the pandemic outbreak show that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

In Italy, for instance, the fear of contagion has tripled the mortality rate due to heart attacks from 4.1% to 13.7%. A situation that risks of burning 20 years of prevention. The cause? According to the Italian Society of Cardiology (Sic), the causes range from lack of care (the reduction in hospitalizations was of 60%) to delays (times increased by 39%), linked to the fear of contagion. The data is the result of a national study of Sic, conducted in 54 hospitals.


Patients’ right to avoid pain: reducing the burden of COVID-19, promoting best practices across EU

EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - III Edition - Award Ceremony

17th June 2021, 15:00 -16:30 CEST



Moderator: Neda Milevska-Kostova, PhD - Vice Chair, International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO)


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