The federal government’s funding of the National Allergy Strategy was announced at the launch of Food Allergy Week 2016 in Sydney, by the Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP.
This funding will provide support for the implementation of what has been identified as the three most urgent National Allergy Strategy initiatives.
including in the hospital setting
Whilst we will continue to educate consumers with food allergy and their carers on appropriate management and communication when eating food outside the home, the aim of this initiative is to improve the provision of appropriate food to individuals with food allergy, in the food service sector.
The current situation with no standardised, easily accessible education for food service providers managing food allergy as a food safety issue, continues to impact the health and quality of life of individuals with food allergy and contribute to mismanagement in food service, despite best intentions. Further to this, food provided by food service providers (either in the community, camps or hospital settings) has resulted in preventable food-induced anaphylaxis including recent fatal anaphylaxis cases in Australia.
Untreated or poorly managed allergic diseases result in preventable morbidity and unnecessary doctor visits and hospital admissions. Optimal clinical care is essential for the diagnosis and management of allergic diseases and to ensure optimal patient outcomes.
There are several issues regarding drug allergy, particularly antibiotic allergy, that require urgent attention which will improve patient outcomes, reduce waiting times for more timely access to see an allergy specialist for individuals with more complex diagnosis or management and reduce the use of more expensive antibiotics instead of relatively inexpensive first tier antibiotics.
Teens and young adults are a high risk group for fatal anaphylaxis. There are limited resources for this group and effective ways of educating are urgently required.
The government funding will provide the opportunity to engage with teens and young adults and determine effective communication and education methods. Urgently needed resources, targeted specifically at teens and young adults will be developed based on the outcomes of these discussions.
The proposed strategy is to conduct an extensive survey inviting teens and young adults to discuss allergy management barriers, areas of need, effective communication and education methods.