Spe­cial­ists host con­fer­ence on al­ler­gies

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Estelle El­lis el­lise@ti­soblack­star.co.za

A HOST of spe­cial­ists will be in Port El­iz­a­beth this week­end to dis­cuss the lat­est med­i­cal re­search and treat­ments as a way to bridge the gap in care of­fered to those suf­fer­ing from al­ler­gies.

Al­lergy Foun­da­tion of South Africa (AFSA) chair­man Pro­fes­sor Mike Levin said at present pa­tients had to wait for months to see al­lergy spe­cial­ists, if they were for­tu­nate enough to ac­cess care at all.

“This is largely due to a low num­ber of regis­tered al­ler­gists in the coun­try and very few ded­i­cated al­lergy clin­ics.

“Al­ler­gies are in­creas­ing rapidly in South Africa, and fastest in ru­ral and poor pop­u­la­tions, where many myths per­sist.”

Levin said the AFSA had been launched to pro­vide ad­vice, in­for­ma­tion and sup­port to those with al­ler­gies, food in­tol­er­ance and pri­mary im­mune de­fi­cien­cies while also act­ing as the “voice of al­lergy suf­fer­ers”.

Apart from Levin – who is head of al­ler­gol­ogy at Cape Town’s Red Cross War Memo­rial Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal – con­fer­ence speak­ers in­clude pae­di­a­tri­cian and pul­mo­nolo­gist Dr An­dre van Niek­erk, who will talk about asthma and al­ler­gic rhinitis, Dr Tamra Ker­beleker (eczema and food al­ler­gies), and Dr Jeanette Holtzhausen (hives).

Dr Shi­rani Naidoo will dis­cuss how to pre­vent chil­dren from getting al­ler­gies and also ana­phy­laxis.

Dr Ge­off Co­hen will dis­cuss the man­age­ment of chronic ill­nesses in schools while psy­chother­a­pist Hay­ley Katz and psy­chol­o­gist Mar Ribas will dis­cuss how chil­dren cope with chronic ill­ness.

Let’s Talk Al­lergy #Bridg­ingTheGap will be held at the Sum­mer­strand Ho­tel to­mor­row and on Sun­day from 8am to 1.30pm.

The cost per per­son is R400 for the public and R1 000 for gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers, phar­ma­cists and nurses.

To book contact Claris on Clar­ies@lon­do­cor.co.za or phone (011) 954-5753.

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