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Allergy Today: From Mark’s Desk May 2021

Allergy Awareness Week: 9 – 15 May, 2021

Welcome to Allergy Today. Please help us raise allergy awareness by sharing our free e-newsletter with others every time you receive your copy.

It’s Allergy Awareness Week and we need your support!Mark Dixon
We have been following the relentless work of Malcolm Mulholland and his team at Patient Voice Aotearoa (PVA) for the last several years and contributing when possible with promotion of their petition through our Facebook page and Allergy Today.
The Patient Voice Aotearoa is petitioning the Government to double the Pharmac Budget.
PVA argues this would potentially provide sufficient funding for a number of critical life-preserving medicines (including Epipens) that a huge number of kiwis would benefit from.
Allergy New Zealand has the dubious honour of being the longest standing submitter approved by the Pharmac PTAC Committee for Epipen® funding more than 15 years ago!
  • Please check out their petition at https://weareworthit.nz/
  • Currently, the petition sits at just under 100,000 signatures both online and in hard copy.
  • You can still sign it online at www.sign4life.nz – Let’s help them get well over the 100,000 supporter mark!
The petition will be presented to Parliament in Wellington on 12 May 2021 – Ie. right in the middle of our Allergy Awareness Week and one week before the Government Budget is released (Thursday May 20).
PVA and their representatives and supporters are planning a mass ‘Lie Down For Life’ in Wellington in support of the petition. A particularly appropriate action for those at risk of anaphylaxis.
In order to make the greatest impact, PVA have also organised a nationwide action that enables people to participate at a regional level. Thus, on the same date at the same time, at various locations throughout the country, people are being encouraged to congregate and to participate in a “Lie Down for Life”.
The details of those locations and further details can be found at: https://weareworthit.nz/
Our Allergy New Zealand head office team will be attending the Auckland event in support of the petition which we have all signed online.
If you’re in Wellington on Wednesday 12 May, please participate in the delivery of the petition to Parliament on that date, as supporters of Allergy New Zealand and PVA. The more people who can attend, the better!

Allergy Today Action
I have two big favours to ask:
  1. Please distribute the website https://weareworthit.nz/ amongst your networks (email trees, websites, workplaces, schools and social media platforms) and encourage people to attend or support the ‘Lie Down For Life’ in your region.
  2. Please promote www.sign4life.nz and encourage people to sign and share the petition with those same networks.
Thank you for your support of this major initiative which we can all benefit from.

AAW Survey – COVID-19 impact on you
We are launching a member and reader survey to run during AAW this year.
We were fortunate to receive funding from a Ministry of Social Development grant application to undertake a COVID-19-related survey to assess the impact on New Zealanders living with allergies. Please complete the survey by clicking the link here - Start Survey
We aim to get some valuable feedback from you to share with the Government to improve their response for allergy sufferer support in future crises.

PrimaryCare Allergy Update – Wednesday 26 May 2021
We are excited to be hosting another PrimaryCare Allergy Update supported by Nutricia and the RNZCGP.
Our three senior clinical presenters will update attendees from our offices in Mt Eden, Auckland on three key allergy topics that are of particular focus at the moment. The event will be livestreamed to registered health care professionals via Zoom.
If you are a healthcare professional and would like to attend, please register your interest asap at primarycare@allergy.org.nz

FundaPen Update
Unfortunately, we have not been successful in securing new funding to extend the FundaPen initiative. Our previous funding was exhausted in October 2019.
We have been receiving a number of calls/emails asking for free Epipens that we are unable to fulfil.
Our quest for fresh funding continues every day and we will be shouting it from the hills when we are successful.

NKettleKorn-641ew and Extended Sponsorships

Allergy New Zealand warmly welcomes Kettle Korn NZ Ltd (www.kettlekorn.co.nz) to our growing group of sponsors. Trent and his NZ team do magical things with popcorn from their Auckland base and their range is distributed nationally. Please keep an eye out for their distinctive packaging in your local PAK'nSAVE, New World and Countdown stores.

Look out for their popcorn products that display the Allergy New Zealand logo acknowledging their support. 
https://www.facebook.com/NewZealandKettleKorn



Pollen Calendar
Our long term partner, HRV, has just confirmed that they will extend their annual support to include exclusive sponsorship of our Allergy NZ Pollen Calendar. Our Pollen Calendar has proved to be very popular with Primarycare health care professionals and you may well see our poster on the waiting room or nurses station walls in many clinics and consulting rooms both privately and publicly.

We distribute it every year to schools nationally and it is also available on our website in PDF format –  Click here
 

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Please remember to support those that support our allergy community

Cat Allergies?
In the previous three issues, we offered some of you the chance to enrol in a new cat food trial.
The results of the sample trials are coming in and it’s looking very positive.
Please check out our News Bite for an update - Click here


Allergy New Zealand Board
Dot Louie has served Allergy New Zealand as a volunteer and Board Member for the last 14 years.
She has been a supporter of our organisation and its objectives for every moment of her time as a Board Member and as a very active volunteer.
You may have run into her at one of our Youth Camps, on our stand at one of the Food Trade Shows, been engaged by her at one of our fundraisers or conferences, or come across one of her contributions on our Facebook page.
Although she leaves her Board role, she remains a steadfast supporter of Allergy NZ and we are so grateful to Dot for the positive energy and time she has given to Allergy NZ and its causes.
We recently welcomed Dr Samantha Marsh to the Board.
Sam is a research fellow and specialist in parenting and child health. - Click here
As you can see from her work Sam adds significant value and balance to the existing Board and we are very excited to have her join us.
Our volunteer Board for 2021/22 is as follows:
Chair          Jilesh Mistry
Vice Chair   Hemant Lad
Secretary    Kristen De Monchy
Treasurer    Matt Coulter
Member      Dr Sam Marsh
We are very grateful to each of them for the time and expertise they share with Allergy New Zealand on your behalf.

Achieving Change Together
Please remember to lend your name to the Patient Voice Aotearoa Petition.
It is an excellent opportunity to support a joint initiative that spotlights the burden carried by so many families in this country who are effectively subsidising their Government’s public health system.
Please attend one of the regional gatherings for the ‘Lie Down for Life’ or simply jump online now and add your name to the petition - www.sign4life.nz
A special thank you to Malcolm Mulholland and his team at Patient Voice Aotearoa for creating this initiative and presenting this opportunity for all of us.

Mark Dixon,
CEO Allergy NZ