World Health Organisation adopts resolution on psoriasis (May 2014)

This month, the World Health Organisation adopted a resolution on psoriasis at its 67th World Health Assembly.

The resolution on psoriasis encourages Member States to raise awareness about the disease and to advocate against the stigma experienced by so many people who suffer from it. It requests the WHO Secretariat to draw attention to the public health impact of psoriasis and publish a global report on the disease, emphasizing the need for greater research and identifying successful strategies for integrating the management of psoriasis into existing services for noncommunicable diseases by the end of 2015.

Upon publication of the resolution, Lars Ettarp, President of the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) said:

“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.”

Professor Wolfram Sterry, the President of the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), said: “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.”

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterised by scaly, red skin lesions. People with psoriasis have relatively higher risks of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes. Studies have documented higher rates of depression and anxiety compared with the general population.

Psoriasis is a major topic for the APPG this parliament and one that has come under recent scrutiny for the variation in care received across the country. Our next event on 10th June will seek to explore the ongoing barriers to achieving recommended standards of care and the tools that are available to policy makers to drive improvement on a national scale.

Sources: WHO, IFPA.