$10 million over the next five years needed to manage Australia’s allergies

At a recent update on national progress in the management of allergies, Associate Professor Richard Loh, Co-Chair of the National Allergy Strategy Steering Committee and paediatric clinical immunology/allergy specialist, encouraged the Australian Government to maintain their commitment to addressing the alarming allergy statistics and improve the quality of life of all Australians living with allergic conditions.

Associate Professor Loh maintains a government investment of $10 million over five years is required to ensure progress of the National Allergy Strategy implementation can continue. To date, support for the Strategy has enabled key stakeholders to agree on priorities and make significant progress in important areas requiring national attention including food service training and engaging teenagers.

At the event, the National Allergy Strategy ‘Food allergen management in foodservice’ project was highlighted as a success, with more than 4,500 people completing the free ‘All about Allergens’ online training course for food service professionals that was launched in July 2017.

The National Allergy Strategy ‘250K’ youth website, which aims to provide age-appropriate information and resources to assist young people who are living with severe allergies, has also been made possible through government support. The ‘250K’ website targets teens and young adults who are at the highest risk of fatal, food-triggered anaphylactic reactions out of any age group. Additional funding for this project has been earmarked to establish a youth chat forum, conduct a youth camp and start a mentor program.

The stakeholders said that while there have been many achievements over a short period of time, there are still many more gaps in care that need to be addressed. With one in 10 infants now having a food allergy, and many near misses and preventable deaths related to food and drug allergy in recent times, the National Allergy Strategy seeks to progress urgent work to improve management of allergic disease in Australia.

For more information see the AJP website.