October 29 is World Psoriasis Day – the day when people with psoriasis from all over the world unite in a call for awareness and greater understanding of the impact of a complex and challenging disease. But World Psoriasis Day is more than a day for awareness, it is a global campaign that gathers individuals, patient organisations, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders to take action on behalf of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis; action that can drive change – change that gives hope for a better future. That is one of the many reasons that this year’s World Psoriasis Day campaign encourages people to “Have hope. Take action. Make a change.”
Lars Ettarp, President of the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, IFPA, comments: “There have been a number of developments over the last few years that have given us hope. Due to the many actions taken by IFPA’s member organisations and other stakeholders all over the world, the World Health Assembly passed its first-ever resolution on psoriasis in 2014. IFPA’s recent 4th World Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference gave evidence of the huge strides made in research on psoriasis, and never before have there been so many treatment options as today, with even more in the pipeline.
As representatives of the global psoriasis community, we must continue to take action, and to encourage action in others, to ensure that the psoriasis resolution is implemented in the WHO member states and to improve access to proper and efficient treatment and care for all people with psoriasis, regardless of their nationality. At the end of the year, the WHO will be issuing a Global Report on Psoriasis, and we anticipate this document greatly, as we believe it will be of great benefit to our member organisations, as they continue their efforts to create positive change in their countries and regions.”
“Hope. Action. Change.” – using social media to share messages of hope and action
True change can never come about without action, and that is why IFPA are calling upon all stakeholders to join this year’s online World Psoriasis Day campaign to share what can give hope to people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and what actions can be taken by us all, as individuals and communities, to effect positive change.
Josef de Guzman, Chairman of IFPA’s World Psoriasis Day Steering Committee comments: “Living with a chronic, painful, debilitating and stigmatising disease, it isn’t always easy to have hope. We still have far to go in regards to achieving the ability to fully participate in society without the fear of stigmatisation or discrimination. That is why it is so important for us to encourage people with psoriasis all over the world to come forward and share what gives them hope for a better future, and what actions they feel should be taken to improve their situation.
That is why we have created a virtual, online “Wall of Hope”, where social media posts using the hashtags #ihopepso, #iactpso and #ichangepso will be shared, and where visitors can also post their messages directly. In this way, we can all help give each other hope; hope for a world where no people with psoriasis will ever again be ostracised, humiliated or discriminated against.”