Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association tells of Norwegian hopes for a national allergy and asthma programme  EFA’s Norwegian member, the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association, has been keeping us up to up to date on plans in Norway to adopt a 10 year national asthma and allergy programme for the period 2014 – 2023. So far the Association has reported excellent collaboration between it and the Norwegian Health Authorities (Directorate of Health and Ministry of Health) on this. A large conference on the topic took place on the 11th of February during which many useful discussions on the potential plan were took place. It was agreed that the national programme already in place in Finland (on which EFA led an educational workshop in 2012 to encourage uptake in other countries) is the overall model for most participants at the Norwegian workshop, and another big conference on the subject is planned for the 12th of June to develop plans further.  In the meantime, working groups have been established and will meet on the following topics: the establishment of allergy centres (4 regional centres throughout Norway is the realistic aim); food and cosmetics; indoor air quality; scientific research; diagnosis and treatment; and education and rehabilitation. Another important event will be the ‘Allergy Fresh 2013’ event, taking place the 21st and 22nd of November 2013, following the success of ‘Allergy Fresh 2012’, and it is hoped that this lay further foundations for the plan. The Norwegian Allergy and Asthma Association hopes that the Minister of Health will be in a position to propose this programme for the National Budget 2014, to be released at the beginning of October this year. EFA will keep you updated of how plans in Norway progress.   Vote for EFA’s Swedish member’s nomination for “Great Indoor Climate Award 2012”  The Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association is nominated for the “Great Indoor Climate Award 2012”, organised by in Sweden, for a new tool it has developed to help allergy inspection in schools and nurseries (Allergironden - Allergy Round). The Association has announced that the tool is now available as a database (in Swedish) in the form of a checklist. It is designed to help school environments become as free of allergy as possible, by providing users with a quick and easy overview of where the risks are to be found and offering advice on what actions still need to be taken. The “Great Indoor Climate Award”, established in 2001, aims at promoting innovative indoor air technology, as well as raising awareness of the importance of such technologies. Thus, nominees are companies or organisations from the sectors of indoor environment, energy and plumbing industry that have developed an innovative product or service which has managed to combine indoor air improvement with energy efficiency. The winner is appointed by a jury, but this year the public has the possibility to vote online as well. The Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association is among the four nominees for this year’s award which will be announced on 12th of March. EFA encourages everyone to vote for our member-organisation as recognition for their great contribution to children’s wellbeing in Sweden. Everyone may easily submit a vote before March, 12 by clicking here and choosing "Astma- och Allergiförbundet - Arbete med drabbade" in the field of the four options. For further information, please contact Marie-Louise Luther at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   FENAER reports experts in Spain agree on approach to severe asthma in a new book  In Madrid, a new book about severe asthma was presented at an event which highlighted the latest advances in diagnostic approaches to addressing high impact pathology in patients’ lives.  The book was the result of collaboration between more than twenty doctors specializing in allergy in an effort which was driven by the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC).  The book was edited by Dr. Pilar Barranco and Dr. Santiago Quirce, from the Allergology Service of the University Hospital La Paz in Madrid. The book identifies asthma as one of the diseases with major variability in its clinical expression. According to Dr. Quirce, “Severe asthma finds itself in the extreme of the pendulum and severe impacts upon the life of the patient.” As a result, the management of severe asthma is challenging for specialists in allergy and pulmonology due to the high impact of exacerbations and crises in the lives of the patients with the condition.  According to results of another recent study on asthma control in Spain (MAGIC), more than half of the patients surveyed had poorly controlled asthma. In Spain, it is estimated asthma affects close to 11% of children between 6 and 7 years old and up to 9% of adolescents between 13 and 14 years old. Dr. Barranco stated that “In Europe 38% of children and 16% of adults have lost school or work days due to [asthma], a statistic which is higher in Spain, where asthma is the respiratory disease with the second highest absenteeism in the workplace.” The book estimates that 5% of severe asthma patients do not have control over their asthma, and as a consequence, they consume more than 50% of the health resources dedicated to the disease. The annual medical cost on average or an asthmatic child in Spain is 1.490 Euros, with variability between 403 Euros for the least severe cases and 5.380 Euros for the most severe. As a consequence, the new book offers recommendations for severe asthma treatment, taking into account pathological characteristics for each age group including causes, the levels of control and the gravity of the possible crises. This would permit new treatments to provide a tailored approach for each severe asthma patient. To read the original text in Spanish, please click here.

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