26 June 2017
The National Allergy Strategy will receive $1 million over the next two years to implement a national allergy prevention program. The funding announcement was made by Minister Gillespie at the launch of the National Allergy Strategy Youth Project resource launch, a project also funded by the Australian government.
Implementation of the ASCIA guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention will help reduce the development of food allergy. Preventing the development of food allergy will not only greatly improve the quality of life of individuals and their families, but it will assist in reducing the cost to government, individuals with allergy and the Australian community.
In March this year, the National Allergy Strategy held an Infant Feeding Implementation Meeting to help determine how to improve uptake of the ASCIA guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention. The outcomes of the implementation meeting will inform the government funded allergy prevention project.
The following communication strategies are planned:
- A communication strategy for health professional (general practitioners, pharmacists, maternal, child and family health nurses, paediatricians and dietitians).
- Education resources and tools for health professionals (e.g. referral pathways for infant feeding and allergy prevention).
- A communication strategy for the community to raise awareness encouraging the introduction of the most common food allergens within the first year of life, particularly in infants with severe eczema and/or food allergy, who are considered to have an increased risk of developing peanut allergy.
- A phone service (1800 number) supported by appropriately trained staff to provide support for parents who are introducing solid foods to infants.
- Optimising eczema management in infants that may prevent the development of food allergy.
- Addressing current myths about allergy prevention and providing credible information on allergy prevention in infants.