COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Allergic diseases have become a major epidemic: in some countries, more than half of the population is already sensitized, while more than 30% suffer from one or more allergic conditions. Therefore, allergy today is a global public health concern of pandemic proportions that requires immediate action.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) called on all worldwide leaders to develop the Global Atlas of Allergy and the response has been very enthusiastic. The document was launched during the 2014 EAACI Annual Congress.
Written by the top 170 opinion leaders, the Atlas covers all aspects of allergic diseases from genetics, mechanisms, risk factors and epidemiology to diagnosis, treatment and prevention and introduces the new concept of a comprehensive global strategy addressing the allergy epidemic, including the coordinated actions of schools, patient organisations, pharmacists, primary health care and allied health, together with a broad social mobilisation.
- Highlight the burden of allergic diseases worldwide and warrant recognition as a priority in national healthcare strategies
- Describe mechanisms, risk factors and evaluate the best methods for preventing and controlling allergic diseases
- To guide on how to overcome barriers such as poverty, poor education and infrastructure, as well as low public health priority
- Ensure that cost-effective management approaches are available to as many allergic as possible
- Establish an action plan to manage resources to prevent allergic diseases
The document emphasizes the difficulties many developing countries face in managing allergic diseases mainly caused by insufficient levels of healthcare, heterogeneous inhabitation and a lack of educational programs for healthcare providers and patients.
Also, only a few drugs used to treat allergic diseases are on the WHO essential drugs list, while allergen immunotherapy (the only intervention modifying the natural course of allergies) is listed as having limited accessibility. In addition the need for an optimised allergy training and care is highlighted.
The editors of the document are: Professor Cezmi A. Akdis (Swiss Institute for Allergy and Asthma Research, University of Zurich), Christine Kuhne (Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, Davos, Switzerland) and Associate Professor Ioana Agache (Faculty of Medicine, Transylvania University Brasov, Romania).
Global Atlas of Allergy. European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) 2014