Scientists have a moral obligation to help reduce the burden of influenza in society. We know that flu vaccines can be life-saving for patients at risk and we know that not giving antivirals to critical patients can be fatal. And still, in Europe, seasonal influenza claims more lives than traffic accidents. ESWI therefore believes that experts must continuously explain the benefits of influenza control, prevention and treatment to the general public. And they should be clear about the scientific uncertainties too. After all, research on influenza is aiming at a “moving target”.
Enhancing public health protection against influenza is a goal that scientists clearly cannot achieve on their own. They need to reach out and work with the many groups of people who need scientific evidence in their daily practice: public health officials, healthcare professionals, at-risk patients and the elderly. That is precisely why ESWI has established constructive working relations with a multitude of stakeholder organizations. In fact, ESWI has now created a network of supporters that work with the latest scientific insights to formulate and disseminate accurate public health messages.
To voice these scientifically sound messages, the ESWI network develops tailor-made tools. We tap into different financial resources to fund our projects. Yet, in all circumstances, we remain an independent organization of socially-concerned members and partners, none of whom ever receives a fee or an honorarium for their ESWI work. After all, ESWI’s partners all share the objective to improve public health protection against influenza, turning the ESWI network into a unique and effective organization to address influenza issues in Europe.