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Experts call for improved services for 3m Jordanians suffering from allergies

By Laila Azzeh - Jul 31,2017 - Last updated at Jul 31,2017

AMMAN – With a quarter of Jordanians — around 3 million — suffering from some type of allergy, experts have been calling for measures to improve allergy and immunology services in the Kingdom, but their demands “continue to fall on deaf ears”. 

Participants at the sixth International Conference on Allergy and Immunology, held in Amman, expressed their concern over the “slow” progress made in this sector of medicine in Jordan, despite the growing number of people affected by allergies. 

“There are only eight physicians specialised in allergies in Jordan… we do not have a national registry which tracks the number of people suffering from allergies or the most common types of allergies in Jordan, which is a basic requirement for such a potentially fatal disease,” said Hani Ababneh, president of the conference and the Jordanian Society of Allergy and Immunology. 

During the conference, experts have called for the establishment of a national centre for allergies, similar to the National Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics, the creation of a database for allergies, installing dust measuring devices, providing allergy injections in schools, health centres and sports centres. 

“We have also been calling to provide IDs for patients with allergies so as to alert medics with their specific sensitivities, and to train new medical practitioners in the latest methods to diagnose and cure allergies,” Ababneh told The Jordan Times on Sunday. 

He added that experts have also been urging the provision of life-saving EpiPens (auto-adrenaline injections), which allow patients to inject themselves whenever they suffer from allergic reactions.

“We also want companies to outline the exact ingredients contained in food,” Ababneh said. 

However, the physician expressed his pessimism over the implementation of the recommendations.

“I am not optimistic about the authorities’ response to these demands, mainly due to bureaucracy, neglect and the underestimation of the problem of allergies… the EU has offered to support the establishment of the national allergy centre, but no action has been taken from our side,” Ababneh charged. 

 

He noted that the diagnosis and treatment of every allergy patient would cost the Kingdom around JD150 a month. 

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