There is a reason for everything. There is a reason for Eesti Psoriaasi Liit
( EPsoL - Estonian Psoriasis Union), too. All began, when Soviet officials
started to close treatment units and hospitals in Tallinn
(Capital of Estonia). Patients have organised demonstrations and piquet’s in
front of hospitals and ministries, but nothing helped.
Finally it was decided to build up an own organisation for the people who are
suffering from psoriasis.
In March of 1991 Eesti Psoriaasi Liit was founded. Because there was not any
non-governemental organisations in ”Soviet time”, we are looked for help
and ideas from abroad. We visited Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Also we applied for the membership of International Federation of Psoriasis
Associations (IFPA). Our members, doctors and nurses were invited to
participate in training’s and self-care courses in Finland and summer-camps in
Sweden. We got ointments and medicine, because there wasn’t enough
medicine at this time in our hospitals and drugstores.
Swedish and Finnish associations gave us UV-treatment devices. From Finland
we got booklets about psoriasis, which were translated into Estonian.
We participated twice in meetings of NordPso and also in meetings with the
members of Swedish and Finnish psoriasis associations.
And what we have now. There are over 200 members of which 125 are active.
Now we have very compact and strong organisation and it works. We try to find
so many new active members as we can. EPsoL has its first regional organisations.
There is no employed persons in organisation.
EPsoL has it annual meeting once a year. EPsoL organises information days once
a month, and there the specialists are informing patients about the treatment
of psoriasis. We organise also two-day camps to inform our members about
treatment and to share experiences of living with psoriasis and to decrease
stress. We publish articles in newsletters, take part in discussions in
Estonian radio and TV.
There are two places in Estonia, where EPsoL has UV-lamps and our members can
use them. Medicine are still too expensive for patients and there is only
one of them, which is partly compensated from the of social security
office for those patients who have a very bad condition.
Since 1994 we were published a newsletter ”Ketu”. It is published 2-4 times a
year. Before our own newsletter we published our information in our native
language in a Finnish newsletter ”Psori” and every member got it.
We are influencing to start a psoriasis association in Latvia also.
Eesti Psoriaasi Liit was one of the founders of BALT-PSO, an organisation
which is co-operating with the common activities in Baltic countries:
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
The next task in EPsoL activities is to train of support persons in every
part of Estonia - nurses, patients and relatives, who can help each other to
find the right way to heal psoriasis, to decrease stress and to live with
psoriasis. Also EPsoL is trying to publish booklets about psoriasis. And the
next task is to make it clear to the officials, that psoriasis is a disease -
not a cosmetic problem and the patients with psoriasis need the same help as
the patients of other diseases.