With 150 million Europeans currently affected by allergy and estimations alerting that by 2025 half of the European population will suffer from them, we have helped the Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma bring the reality of allergy and asthma patients to the European Parliament. In Europe, 30 million of children and adults under 45 live with asthma, 6 million of them suffer from severe symptoms.
Together with the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), we organised a three-day exhibition “Test your allergies 2016, Test, Inform, Prevent” hosted by MEP Mr Borrelli (EFDD, Italy) with the support of MEP Mrs Pietikainen (EPP, Finland) and MEP Mrs Childers (S&D, Ireland).
The exhibition, presented 13 pictures of allergy and asthma patients and healthcare professionals to show and underline the burden allergies pose to patients in daily life and how healthcare professionals are working to support them. Allergy is far more than huffing and sneezing for a couple of weeks’ time during the pollen season. It is a serious chronic disease that affects early in life and therefore imposes a high burden on healthcare systems, the society, and especially patients and their families.
A team of medical doctors led by Professor Peter Hellings performed a skin-prick test to visitors that had an interest in testing their allergies. More than 600 people at the European Parliament were tested, including several Members of the European Parliament.
Allergy is often underdiagnosed, we know that 45% of patients with this disease have never received a proper diagnosis and, unfortunately, there is no cure for it.
The exhibition was opened by a policy discussion on the need to tackle allergy in the framework of the EU and global actions on chronic diseases.
- The key note speech by Mr Bertollini, Scientific Officer of the World Health Organisation to the European Union, focused on WHO plans to tackle non-communicable diseases.
- Prof Muraro, President of EAACI, and Mrs Botjes, EFA’s Vice-President, presented the healthcare’s and patients’ perspective and unmet needs.
- A panel of three Members of the European Parliament, Mrs Pietikainen, Mrs Childers and Mrs Kadenbach (S&D, Austria) discussed the actions that the European Parliament can take to reduce the burden of allergy in Europe, including the adoption of a comprehensive strategy and policies on risk factors, such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, chemicals exposure in everyday life and better food allergen labelling.
During the exhibition, Mr Borrelli and Ms Pietikainen also hosted the launch of the HEY YA! Report HEalth Literacy, Young Patients with Asthma and Adherence to treatment: EFA Report and European Recommendations, a new EFA publication that looks at the health status, asthma severity, attitude, treatment scheme, role of physicians and carers and health literacy of adolescents between 12-17.
The Interest Group on Allergy and Asthma is a group of Members of the European Parliament committed to end allergy and asthma in Europe and ease the lives of people with allergy and asthma.
To know more about allergies, please visit our Get Advice page.