Allergy

Updated 30 October 2015

Only 10 registered allergists in SA!

Most South Africans have to wait months to see an allergy specialist as the country lacks registered experts in this field.

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There is an inadequate number of allergy specialists in South Africa despite the country having one of the highest prevalence rates of allergic disorders in the developing world.

This is according to Wilmi Hudsonberg, spokesperson of Pharma Dynamics.

"As things stand, most South Africans have to wait months to see a specialist, if they are fortunate enough to access care at all.

Read: Nuts and food manufacturing safety

“This is largely due to a very low base of registered allergists in the country – of which there are only ten – and only four dedicated allergy clinics: at Pietersburg Hospital (Limpopo), Tygerberg Hospital, Groote Schuur Hospital and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town," she said in a statement.

"Presently only the University of Cape Town offers training in the field of Allergology. Plenty more are needed to meet the population’s existing and future healthcare demands."

In an interview with eNCA on Wednesday, Hudsonberg cautioned that the country is facing a problem. She said South Africa has one of the highest prevalence rates of allergic disorders in the developing world.

Read: Life-threatening allergy attacks

She added that the under diagnoses of allergies is a major problem, in particular with children and in poorer communities.

Typical allergens include feathers, hay, pollen, dust, nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, wheat and certain insect bites and medications.

Pharma Dynamics pointed out that allergic rhinitis, which is the most commonly reported allergy, affects as many as 16 million people in South Africa.

Also read:

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Ask the Expert

Allergy expert

Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies. obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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