Coronavirus webinars – what the experts have to say
In the challenging time we are in, several organisations have run helpful and insightful webinars for the public, patients and professionals to attend. Members of the ELF team attended three of these webinars over the last few weeks.
30 April - ERN-Lung and ERS Joint Webinar: COVID-19 in patients with rare diseases of the respiratory system
During this webinar, experts presented on what we know so far about the effects of COVID-19 on various lung conditions, including: cystic fibrosis (CF), interstitial lung disease (ILD), pulmonary hypertension (PH) and primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).
The presentations were followed by a fascinating Q&A session, some of which came directly from you. Many of the questions have been written up and you can read them here. This covered topics from hospital visits to at home exercise to staying active while shielding. They also continued to answer questions directly from any patients using the online platform Exabo: https://exabo-lung.mig-frankfurt.de/#indexSlider
5 May - ERS Webinar - COVID-19: potential impact on asthma patients
On World Asthma Day, the ERS ran a webinar about the impact that COVID-19 is having on people with asthma. During this webinar Prof. Guy Brusselle and Prof. Antonio Spanevello presented on how COVID-19 is affecting people with asthma and how to manage it.
They had some encouraging take-home messages for people with asthma; they emphasised the importance of continuing with regular asthma treatment and that well-controlled asthma is not linked to an increased risk of severe COVID-19.
Towards the end of the webinar we heard from Stephanie Ayre, an ELF Asthma Patient Advisory Group member, who talked about the experiences of living with asthma during the pandemic and asked questions from patients and the public.
8 May - EU Health Policy Platform: COVID-19 in Society
ELF Chair-elect – Kjeld Hansen – took part in the EU webinar on COVID-19 in society online last week. The roundtable session included representatives from many organistions, and aimed to raise awareness of the issues for different parts of society during the pandemic. It included those with mental health conditions, the homeless, those living with chronic conditions and the impact on health professionals. Kjeld presented on behalf of ERS and ELF about concerns from respiratory patients who had contacted ELF. He explained how ERS and ELF had developed tools to help answer those concerns.
Time for questions and discussion were limited but the presentations were interesting and informative. The session was Chaired by John F. Ryan from DG SANTE and opened by the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides. They both committed to taking action based on the points presented. Talking after the event, Commissioner Kyriakides said “For some groups of our societies, this difficult experience will be harder to overcome and the consequences will be felt for a longer period of time. We need to take this into consideration and pay particular attention to these groups. I am therefore delighted that so many people and organisations have joined us today for this important discussion on the effects of COVID-19 on mental health, on vulnerable people and on health workers. Your views and insights on this is crucial for us to understand the needs of these groups.” You can read the full statement here.
We will keep you informed on opportunities to join or contribute to similar events in the coming weeks. Thanks for to all of those individuals who posed questions, and we hope that you found the sessions useful and informative.