21 March 2019:
With a federal election anticipated within the next 2-3 months of 2019, the National Allergy Strategy has submitted an election platform to all major political parties.
NAS Election platform 20-03-19161.91 KB
The National Allergy Strategy is grateful for the funding it has received to date from the Australian Government Department of Health. Almost 2 million dollars has been provided to the National Allergy Strategy over the past 3 years which has allowed us to undertake the much needed 250K youth project, the food service project, drug allergy scoping work and the food allergy prevention project (Nip allergies in the Bub).
While the National Allergy Strategy has made good progress in improving care for those with allergic disease, more funding is urgently needed to achieve the goals of the Strategy which was launched in 2015.
A five year, whole of health approach is needed to combat the rise in allergic diseases and to improve the health and quality of life of those living with allergic diseases, through a range of strategies.
The National Allergy Strategy is asking for 20 million dollars in funding over 5 years to allow us to implement the following important projects in consultation with key stakeholder organisations:
- A Shared Care Model for allergic diseases to improve timely access to quality care for all Australians living with chronic allergic conditions.
- A comprehensive approach to drug allergy management including the implementation of a drug allergy register.
- A comprehensive, consistent approach to food allergy management in all food service (e.g. restaurants, schools, education and care services, hospitals, aged care facilities, airlines etc), expanding on the initial work that has been undertaken.
- Effective engagement with teens and young adults (at highest risk of fatal anaphylaxis) to help them to manage their severe allergies, particularly food allergies.
- Expansion of allergy prevention strategies to help prevent the development of allergic diseases including food allergy and some forms of asthma.
- Implementation of an anaphylaxis register system that meets the needs of all Australian states and territories to allow collection of nationally representative de-identified data to better understand the gaps in knowledge regarding anaphylaxis, and to allow for rapid removal of incorrectly labelled or allergen contaminated foods from the marketplace.
- Access to oral immunotherapy for food allergy in highly regarded allergy clinics, which is currently unavailable in Australia (except in limited research trials), resulting in many Australians having to travel and live oversees to access treatment.
- Expansion of existing education and support resources.
Please support all Australians living with allergic diseases by contacting your local federal candidates asking for their support of the National Allergy Strategy election platform by contacting their party leaders to publicly announce support for this funding request.
For letter templates, please visit https://allergyfacts.org.au/about/our-work-and-advocacy/election-2019
Read more: National Allergy Strategy Election Platform
8 March 2019:
A 2016 youth survey conducted by the National Allergy Strategy showed that 50% of respondents felt as though they couldn't carry their EpiPen® during social occasions as the device is too bulky, and doesn't fit in a clutch or pocket.
It can be difficult, or even embarrassing to carry an EpiPen® around when out with friends, but it's important to always have the EpiPen® and ASCIA Action Plan on/with you.
In order to reduce stigma about carrying medication, 250K are hosting a competition to find the most creative and practical ways to carry an EpiPen®s and action plan. We’re asking entrants to share a short video of how they carry their EpiPen®s and ASCIA Action Plan on a day-to-day basis and/or during social events. Winners will receive a JB-HI-FI gift voucher valued at $500.
For details about how to enter, visit 250K.org.au
Read more: 250K Video Competition – ENTRIES NOW OPEN
1 February 2019
The 250K youth camp was a great success according to the campers who participated. Here are some of the highlights from the camp held at Yarramundi YMCA in Western Sydney in January 2019.
30 campers attended the camp, aged from 11-23, alongside 9 National Allergy Strategy staff and volunteers. This was the first face to face meeting of some members of the 250K Youth Advisory Team. Despite the scorching temperatures (45°C!) campers participated in all of the planned activities – their favourite being kayaking.
Other favourite activities were the giant swing, Sydney Trapeze School, high ropes, team games with Pete Griffiths (CEO of Australian Camps Association), and the medical & allied health discussions lead by an Allergist (Dr Melanie Wong), Dietitian (Dr Merryn Netting) and Allergy Nurse (Briony Tyquin).
A whopping 17 meal times were catered for over the duration of the camp – which given our group had 21 different food allergies to manage – was very impressive! Campers mentioned on numerous occasions throughout camp how well fed they were.
Read more: Highlights from the first National Allergy Strategy 250K youth camp
16 January 2019:
School and youth camps provide a great opportunity for young people to get away with friends and try new things. For young people with food allergy and their parents, camps can be a stressful experience as they rely on the knowledge of others to manage their food allergy and respond in an unlikely emergency.
The National Allergy Strategy 250K youth camp is the first camp to be conducted specifically for teens and young adults living with food allergy. Thirty young people from across Australia will be participating in the camp as part of the National Allergy Strategy’s 250K Youth Project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.
The 250K youth camp aims to:
- bring teens and young adults with food allergy together to share their experiences and reduce social isolation and allow them to develop autonomy in managing their condition.
- provide an opportunity for camp participants to have fun whilst still learning about managing their health condition.
- provide an opportunity for camp participants can develop a sense of community, free of judgement without feeling like they are being singled out.
- help camp participants to learn how others deal with managing their health condition and provide positive experiences about navigating unfamiliar social situations.
- provide an opportunity for us to learn from young people so that we can engage more effectively with young people who live with potentially life-threatening allergies.
Read more: First youth camp by National Allergy Strategy to support teens and young adults with food allergies
12 December 2018:
All at the National Allergy Strategy are disappointed in having to cancel the December 2018 Kalgoorlie visit. Unfortunately, there was very limited interest demonstrated by local health professionals. The Kalgoorlie visit was part of a Shared Care Model project pilot which requires health professional engagement. We were planning to send a team of 6 health professionals to Kalgoorlie for three days and had to no choice but to cancel as there were less than 10 health professionals (no doctors who were planning to attend an education session). We are planning to engage with health professionals in Kalgoorlie to learn more about what support they need.
Read more: Kalgoorlie/Goldfields Shared Care Model visit cancellation
2 November 2018:
Today the National Allergy Strategy is hosting a food allergen management in food service round table in Sydney.
This meeting provides an opportunity for key stakeholders in food service to engage and discuss the next steps to improve food allergen management in food service.
The NAS Food service project team at left, and industry representatives took time out for a group photo.
Read more: NAS food service round table
1 November 2018:
The National Allergy Strategy has partnered with Environmental Health Australia (EHA) to develop a resource hub to assist authorised officers to help improve food allergy management in food service.
The resource is being launched at the national EHA conference today in Perth.
Sandra Vale, National Allergy Strategy Coordinator and Vic Andrich, WA president of Environmental Health Australia (WA Branch) shown at the launch.
Read more: New resource hub for authorised officers
27 August 2018:
Today the National Allergy Strategy Food Allergy Prevention Project was launched in WA as the main pilot region for the Project. The Food Allergy Prevention Project is the first in the world to promote feeding children the common allergy causing foods by one year of age, to help prevent food allergy developing.
While previous food allergy prevention strategies included delayed introduction of common food allergens and avoidance of foods in pregnancy, the Food Allergy Prevention Project widely promotes the introduction of common food allergens. This includes peanut, tree nuts, cow’s milk, egg, wheat, fish, shellfish, sesame and soy, in the first year of life. The new recommendations will not prevent all food allergies but will help prevent food allergy developing in the majority of babies.
Studies show that babies with eczema may also develop food allergy by exposure to the food through their skin. The “Nip Allergies in the Bub” website developed by the Project contains practical information for parents and carers about introducing solid foods and managing eczema for allergy prevention in the first year of life. The website also contains information and resources specifically for health professionals, including e-training courses.
Read more: Food Allergy Prevention Project Launch