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National Allergy Summit

Interviews about the National Allergy Summit appeared on

National Allergy Summit on The Today Show Channel 9

Dr Wendy Norton, A/Prof Richard Loh and Ms Lisa Wilkinson, co-host The Today Show Channel 9, discussed the National Allergy Summit aimed at developing a coordinated approach to allergic disease across the country. 

Nine Today Show appearance by Prof Loh and Dr Norton prior to Allergy Summit

Read more: National Allergy Summit

National Allergy Strategy for Australia decided at the world’s first Allergy Summit

Experts agree that allergies are major public health issue in Australia and national action is needed.

pdfNational Allergy Strategy for Australia decided 11 August 2014503.08 KB

The world's first Allergy Summit took place in Sydney on August 8th. There were 60 invited participants including consumers and a wide range of medical specialists and key organisations from across Australia. This Summit was convened in partnership by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA).

The scope of discussions included the impact of allergic diseases, their cost, the need for improved access to care, standards of care, education and training, research and policy, with a focus on possible solutions.

"The Allergy Summit was a great step forward, bringing together key representatives from a large number of backgrounds to work together to identify goals and strategies to address a major chronic disease affecting a large proportion of the Australian population." says Dr Melanie Wong, a leading specialist Allergy and Immunology physician and President-Elect of ASCIA.

"The Allergy Summit was the beginning of a new phase in the management of allergic diseases in Australia," said Dr Wong.

"The aim of the National Allergy Strategy will be to improve access to appropriate healthcare services and improve the quality of life of people with allergic diseases and those who care for them," says Associate Professor Richard Loh, President of ASCIA.

"We all agreed on the need for a National Allergy Strategy," says Maria Said, President of A&AA.

The National Allergy Strategy will be developed over the next six months and further funding will be sought to hold an implementation meeting in April 2015.

Read more: National Allergy Strategy for Australia decided at the world’s first Allergy Summit

Donation inspires focus on Wegener's Granulomatosis

Wegener's Granulomatosis is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are a broad range of related diseases in which a person's immune system produces an inappropriate response against its own cells, tissues and/or organs, resulting in inflammation and damage.

There are over 80 different autoimmune diseases and these range from common to very rare diseases. 

Read more: Donation inspires focus on Wegener's Granulomatosis

Rite of passage - with an extra challenge

April 2014

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that requires urgent medical treatment. It is therefore essential to know how to recognise and respond to an anaphylaxis emergency as well as implement appropriate risk minimisation strategies to prevent exposure to known allergens.

Teenagers and young adults have been identified as a high risk group for fatal anaphylaxis (1-3). It is precisely when they are becoming more independent, that they need to build the skills required to manage their severe allergies as well as know how to access their health professionals.  

ABC anaphylaxis report

Sadly, there are still deaths from anaphylaxis, many of which are preventable. Severe allergic reactions can occur at schools or in new surroundings, or as teenagers grow into adults, learning how to be independent and take increasing responsibility for managing their allergies.

An excellent segment was presented on the ABC’s 7.30 Report earlier this year about the difficulties adolescents face when venturing out on school excursions and, later, learning to be responsible for their own health on social occasions. 

To view this report by Adam Harvey, go to: www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3919912.htm

For information on the correct treatment of anaphylaxis see the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/anaphylaxis-resources/first-aid-for-anaphylaxis  

ASCIA transition checklist ASCIA acknowledges that teenagers may need some guidance in transitioning from paediatric to adult care and as a result has produced an important new document for patients called Transitioning from Paediatric to Adult Care for Severe Allergies.

Go to www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-treatment/transitioning-from-paediatric-to-adult-care to view.

Read more: Rite of passage - with an extra challenge

World Allergy Week

7-13 April 2014

World Allergy WeekWorld Allergy Week is an initiative of the World Allergy Organization (WAO). This year the focus is on increasing awareness of anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that requires urgent medical treatment. It is therefore essential to know how to recognise and respond to an anaphylaxis emergency as well as implement appropriate risk minimisation strategies to prevent exposure to known allergens.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), a founding sponsor of AIFA, is supporting World Allergy Week with the release of three new resources for patients at risk of anaphylaxis.

The important resources to assist patients at risk of anaphylaxis are as follows:

Read more: World Allergy Week

New Foundation to help find cures for allergy & other immune diseases

9 September 2013

Allergy and other immune diseases are amongst the fastest growing chronic and complex health conditions in Australasia affecting one in four children and adults in Australia and New Zealand.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) said the rapid rise has resulted in an urgent need for new research to understand the reasons for the increasing prevalence and to help find potential new treatments and cures.

Today in Perth, ASCIA will launch the Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA) to fund high quality education and research projects into disorders of the human immune system in Australia and New Zealand.

Read more: New Foundation to help find cures for allergy & other immune diseases

Allergies have an economic impact

The Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) produces and commissions reports relevant to allergy and immunolgy. 

In 2007, ASCIA commissioned Access Economics to determine the financial cost of allergies and impact on productivity and health system expenditure. 

The report The Economic Impact of Allergic Disease: Not to be Sneezed At outlines how the financial cost of allergies was $7.8 billion, with lost productivity and health system expenditure the major contributing factors.

It was also highlighted that most Australians face a wait of many months to see an allergy and immunology specialist, if they can access care at all.

Read more: Allergies have an economic impact

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