Specialists host conference on allergies
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.