Our members in the spotlight: Pancyprian Federation of Patients’ Associations and Friends

  1. What’s on the top of your agenda?

At the moment we are focusing on increasing the Federation’s awareness and on promoting the Federation as the patients’ voice in Cyprus.

Our number one priority is the recognition of the indisputable rights of patients and their participation without any restrictions in health-related discussions and decisions. This is especially important for us in Cyprus in order to guarantee proper and timely access to medicines for our patients. Our work is also crucial to ensure that patients have the choice between all the different therapeutic options and treatment available for them.

  1. Why does your organisation exist?

Our raison d’être is to ensure that patients have access to holistic, patient-centred and equitable health and social care by promoting collaboration and building synergies among patient’s organisations and stakeholders.

In order to do so, the Federation coordinates the work of its member associations and represents them in all decision-making bodies, where it advocates for the protection of patient’s social and physical rights.

  1. What is your biggest achievement as an organization?

We just submitted a project proposal entitled “I CARE” in the context of ERASMUS+ KA2: “Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices- Strategic Partnerships”.  The project’s basic aim is to develop open educational resources (MOOC- Massive Open Online Course) and training courses in order to provide caregivers with information and communication technology (ICT), social and basic patient care skills.

  1. What is for you the key benefit of your organisation’s involvement in EPF?

Through our involvement in EPF, we have gained expertise and tools to advocate for patients’ rights.

We are also grateful for the great support EPF provided us in the framework of its capacity-building programme. Thanks to this support, we developed our first strategic plan. We believe this is an important big step to achieve before pursuing our other goals.

  1. What is the biggest misconception about patients with chronic diseases in your country?

Society’s lack of knowledge about chronic diseases leads to negative behaviour towards them, and even racism. As far as the authorities are concerned, they still too often take decisions without consulting with the patients.

Despina Roussou

Despina Roussou

Despina Roussou is the Assistant Secretary and Communications Executive of the Pancyprian Federation of Patients’ Associations and Friends. She was diagnosed with MS almost twenty years ago and she is an active member of the Cyprus MS Association. She is also a journalist for the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

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