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ASSET

Action plan on Science in Society related issues in Epidemics and Total pandemics

 

 

 

Since 2014, Lyonbiopôle is a partner of the European project ASSET which is a four-year European research project. The project combines experts with many different backgrounds, e.g. public health, vaccine and epidemiological research, social and political sciences, law and ethics, gender studies, science communication and media. The aim of the project is to develop a participatory and integrated, transdisciplinary strategy to preparedness measures.

 

During the year 2015, the consortium achieved a state of the art related to research and innovation on pandemics issues, as well as on their operational and regulatory environment and their societal consequences.

 

Lyonbiopole took part in the organisation of a consultation during the third year of the project (2016). The aim of the public consultation in the ASSET project was to engage European citizens in the debate of pandemic crisis prevention and management. Citizen meetings with around 50 people each was held in eight countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and Romania. The consultation's results have been presented at the European Parliament in April 2017 by the project's partners.

 

The ASSET citizen consultations show that citizens across Europe are willing to follow the advice from health authorities. In an emergency situation, citizens even supported the infringement of individual rights for the collective good. However, citizens emphasized that public health authorities must communicate in an honest and transparent matter. Citizens do not want to be protected from the realities of a situation; rather they want to know what the uncertainties and risks are. Participants in the meeting urged general practitioners (GPs) and authorities to increase their online presence and to engage in dialogue with their publics. The public desire clear and updated information on vaccination and pregnancy and believe that improved communication and dialogue can restore trust and build better relationships between health authorities and publics. Finally, citizens in the meetings expressed a desire for opportunities to provide input for policy development and action in the case of epidemic or pandemic crisis.

  

The policy recommendations from the ASSET citizen consultation relate to specific thematic areas of action, and each recommendation is therefore grouped under its attendant area. The six concrete policy recommendations were:

 

  • Trust in information: The GPs should be trained to adapt to the changing society, and decision-makers should be urged to be visible and present at the internet, as the use of the internet is increasing;
  • Risk Communication: Build a transparent and clear risk communication to restore trust towards society;
  • Pregnancy and vaccination: Update, clarify and standardize influenza vaccination advice materials for pregnant women;
  • Ethics: In an emergency situation, public health interests should infringe upon the individual freedom;
  • Citizens’ voices: The citizens believe that honesty and transparency can increase the public trust (no matter how bad the situation is), and that it is their right to know and understand the accurate situation;
  • Lessons learned and Citizen Participation: Public health authorities should devote more resources to collect citizen input to policies on epidemic preparedness and response.

 

Link to the policy report based on the consultation of the civil society (EN)

 

The past two years have also been devoted to the implementation of the Strategic Plan. Several instruments have been created to anticipate and manage epidemics which take into account  all the aspects mentioned above:

  • A roadmap for the involvement of the civil society;
  • A practical guide;
  • A toolbox.

 

Twice a year Lyonbiopole is responsible for the publication of the project newsletters (available here)

 

All the project's deliverable are available here.

 

Future Events

 

  • Final event of the project in Rome, October 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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