Brussels, 11 September 2007 – The European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA) has expressed its sadness at the sudden death of Dame Anita Roddick, and its gratitude for her active support of organisations campaigning for better research into liver disease and care for patients suffering from liver problems. The group praised her work with their UK member association, the Hepatitis C Trust. She recently had a massive impact on ELPA’s EU campaign to raise awareness of hepatitis C as a ‘silent killer’. She joined the campaign following her discovery that she had carried HepatitisC for nearly 20 years, having contracted it from a blood transfusion, and subsequently suffered from cirrhosis of the liver. “Dame Anita was a tireless campaigner for good causes, charities and aid organisations,” said Nadine Piorkowsky, ELPA President. “She made an invaluable contribution to the fight to raise the profile of Hepatitis and liver disease in order to prevent unnecessary infection and health problems.” Anita Roddick was an active supporter of Hepatitis C and liver disease campaigning organisations in Europe. Her public endorsement was a factor in encouraging MEPs to overwhelmingly adopt a Written Declaration on Hepatitis C earlier this year. She had planned to speak at an ELPA conference at the European Parliament, marking the occasion of World Hepatitis Awareness Day (October 1st). “Dame Anita was an inspiration to all that she worked with, and the results of her campaigning on health, environmental, homelessness and animal welfare issues have ensured that millions of us live in a better world,” said Nadine Piorkowsky.
ELPA emerged from a desire amongst European liver patient groups to share their experiences of theoften very different approaches adopted in different countries. ELPA was formally launched in Paris on April 14th 2005 during the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and now has 20 members from 17 countries. ELPA’s aim is to promote the interests of people with liver disease by furthering awareness and prevention among healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public at large; by addressing the low profile of liver disease compared to other disease areas; by sharing experience of successful case examples as regards the management of the disease; by working with professional bodies such as EASL to ensure that treatment and care are aligned across Europe to the highest standards. For further information please contact: Nadine Piorkowsky, ELPA President F. De Renesselaan, 57 B – 3800 Sint-Truiden
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