ASCIA 2018 Conference
This year’s ASCIA conference heard how the Australian Government is taking the allergy epidemic seriously by funding a national body to coordinate allergy-prevention education and management.
ASCIA is the peak clinical body for allergies in this part of the world, and we were told the ASCIA website is the one most referenced by our New Zealand healthcare professionals. The Kiwis were quick to note that our Allergy New Zealand website is a close second!
Allergy NZ was also credited with introducing a GP Allergy Update day to the Auckland ASCIA 2017 Conference that was focused purely on bringing GPs up to speed with the latest allergy practices in primary care. It was gratifying to see it included again this year for the first time on Australian soil.
This year’s ASCIA conference hosted over 600 delegates, who received presentations from more than 80 invited speakers from Australia and New Zealand, as well as international presenters.
Two years ago, the Australian Government recognised the dire need for a nationally coordinated effort to cope with the allergy epidemic in our region. Subsequently, the National Allergy Strategy was established with an inaugural $1 million support fund from the Australian Department of Health.
On the opening day of the ASCIA conference this year, the National Allergy Strategy team was able to confirm that the Government had just committed to a further $2.5 million over the next five years to support their work. Great news for allergy sufferers in Australia!
With two Epipens® funded per year by the Australian Government per doctor-diagnosed Australian at risk of anaphylaxis, and a nationally funded body leading a managed approach to the allergy epidemic, Australia should be commended for being on the front foot by investing in coordinated allergy-prevention education and management.
Their actions underline both the seriousness of the condition and the recognition that urgent action is required to avoid this costing significantly more in the medium and long term than it is already.
It’s a smart, proactive and defensive strategy in the face of mounting irrefutable clinical evidence.
Allergy New Zealand CEO Mark Dixon