Isabel Proaño

I have worked in communication and advocacy since 2007, in the private, public and non-profit sectors. My expertise is communication for political and social change. Following my Bachelor studies in Journalism and Political Sciences in the Complutense University of Madrid, I completed a Master’s degree at the College of Europe that led me to work at regional level on international cooperation in Brussels first and public health in Central Africa later. Since 2014 I lead EFA’s communications and dissemination activities of the EU funded projects we are partnering in.

For several years now, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) has maintained the same theme for World Asthma Day: “You Can Control Your Asthma”. It is an empowering message for people living with asthma, one of Europe’s major chronic diseases affecting 30 million citizens, of which 6 million live with severe asthma symptoms. Asthma is a demanding disease and its control remains a challenge for many patients. It requires discipline to properly follow treatment; flexibility to cope with the disease and its symptoms; and proper education to know the right things to do when facing an asthma attack. But how can we ask a child with asthma to have such a degree of self-awareness at such a young age? At EFA – the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations - we have conducted a new research on the factors driving adherence to treatment among young people with asthma from 12-17 years old. Surprisingly, many of the patients we interviewed said they do not follow their asthma treatment because sometimes they forget their medication. Others rebel against medical advice or skip their treatment as a reward when they feel better. These behaviors on a continued basis impact asthma control and health status. The good news, however, is that young people with asthma trust their doctors and this trust can be built upon. I think the application of technologies to the self-management of respiratory diseases like asthma is our best option to help young patients cope with and take charge of their disease. I am involved through EFA in myAirCoach , an EU-funded project, where a group of healthcare professionals, researchers, engineers, medical devices companies and volunteering patients is developing an mHealth tool to help people living with asthma predict the progression of their disease. To me, mHealth tools...

Isabel Proaño

The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations (EFA)...