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Psoriasis Now Recognized As Serious Noncommunicable Disease

Posted: May 27, 2014
Psoriasis Now Recognized As Serious Noncommunicable Disease

At the 67th World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization (WHO) member states adopted a resolution on psoriasis, recognizing it as “a chronic, non-communicable, painful, disfiguring, and disabling disease for which there is no cure.” The resolution also acknowledges the psychosocial burden of the disease and that many people with psoriasis suffer due to lack of awareness and access to sufficient treatment.

Lars Ettarp, president of the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) comments:

“IFPA, together with its member associations and leading medical societies, has long called for the WHO and its member states to recognize the serious nature of psoriasis. Finally, the voices of the more than 125 million people who live with psoriasis have been heard, and on this historic day for the global psoriasis community we wish to express our great appreciation for all the stakeholders involved in bringing about this important resolution, especially all the WHO member states that have shown their support for our cause.”

Panama is one of the WHO member states that has actively supported the resolution and the campaign for recognition of psoriasis. HE Ambassador Alberto Navarro Brin of the Permanent Mission of Panama to the United Nations in Geneva, states:

“Together with Argentina, Ecuador and Qatar, Panama recognized the need for greater awareness of this disease which has such a major impact on the health-related quality of life for its sufferers, and initiated discussions with other WHO member states to gain their support. We are very pleased that this resolution has now been adopted and will continue to work with civil society to help build a better world for people with psoriasis.”

One of the stakeholders that have engaged with IFPA in advocacy for global recognition of psoriasis is the International League of Dermatological Societies, ILDS. Professor Wolfram Sterry, the President of ILDS, comments:

“As a dermatologist I have seen first-hand how deeply psoriasis affects people in their daily lives, as have the many members of our worldwide organization. Together with the psoriasis patient associations, we have been able to educate policy makers on the impact this disease has and what can be done to ease its burden. This resolution gives us a platform from which we can engage even further with policy makers to help improve access to the treatment and care that people with psoriasis need and deserve.”

Kathleen Gallant, Secretary of IFPA and Chair IFPA Task Force on NCDs, agrees that the resolution is an important platform from which to effect change:

"The adoption of the psoriasis resolution by the 67th World Health Assembly sends a powerful, global message that psoriasis is a serious immune-mediated, painful and disabling NCD that needs greater public awareness of its inflammatory nature, many physical and psychosocial impacts and shared risk factors with other, more deadly NCDs. This is a great opportunity for education and greater understanding, making a tremendous collective first step towards alleviating the devastating effects of this chronic inflammatory disease."

Link to the WHO resolution EB133.R2

(Please note that the name of the resolution was changed during WHA discussions to "Psoriasis".)