Patients Unite in a Call for Global Empowerment

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Today marks the annual Patient Solidarity Day, calling for global patient empowerment through knowledge.

Knowledge is at the very core of what constitutes successful and effective patient empowerment.

On Saturday, 2nd December, patient advocates from across the world will rally together to mark the annual Patient Solidarity Day. As a movement, they will be united in a call for global patient empowerment, achieved through knowledge.

Prominent patient organizations across the world are expected to join forces on Saturday to raise awareness of the need for, and benefit of, empowered and informed patients. The campaign, run by the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), urges decision-makers to demonstrate their commitment patient empowerment.

The Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA) is a member of IAPO and a proud supporter of Patient Solidarity Day. The GCCA is the only international non-profit patient organization dedicated to colorectal cancer. The GCCA has been an active voice in the patient, healthcare, and regulatory communities on issues that are important to patients. The vision of the GCCA is to create a global community in which people around the world can unite and fight this disease with one unified voice.

Knowledge is at the very core of what constitutes successful and effective patient empowerment. The extent to which a patient is empowered depends on access to clear, useable information and the ability to accurately assess the credibility of this information. Through the right kinds of knowledge, patients are empowered to exercise their right to become active partners in shaping healthcare.

Patient Solidarity Day, which takes place every year in December, is a day for patient advocates, regardless of disease or condition, geographic location or socio-economic status, to join together in highlighting a key global issue facing patient communities. The Day is a reminder of the global voice that patients have and must use for the benefit of the health system. Around the world, patient advocates mark Patient Solidarity Day by holding a wide range of advocacy activities such as social media debates, marches, health screenings and public talks.

Jolanta Bilinska, IAPO’s Chair, said:
“This Patient Solidarity Day advocates across the world stand united in a call for global patient empowerment. By being informed and empowered patients we are exercising our rights to be partners in shaping our own healthcare. Empowered patients mean healthy healthcare systems.”

Melissa Greberman, GCCA’s Partnership and Outreach Manager, said:
“The GCCA is an advocate for patient empowerment through knowledge. Patient empowerment means that patients fully understand their condition and are enabled to be active decision-makers in their own care. Empowered patients also have the ability to have a say in patient-centered policy. Patients are the experts in what it is like to live with their condition, and their voice deserves to be heard on Patient Solidarity Day and beyond.”

Patient Solidarity Day was initiated by the Morris Moses Foundation in Kenya in 2011. IAPO members felt the importance of engaging in the day, as it directly supports our vision and mission of ensuring patients are at the centre of healthcare systems. Support for the Day has grown over the past few years. 2017 is expected to the biggest year yet for Patient Solidarity Day, with advocates around the world standing together in a call for globally empowered patients.

For further information about Patient Solidarity Day, visit:

Follow the movement on Twitter at @PatientSolDay or on Facebook at

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Andrew Spiegel
since: 05/2013
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