Without a better understanding of local micro-organisms and their impact on our health, allergic reactions will continue to plague more South Africans than any other disease. Allergic diseases are the most common of all diseases in South Africa, with one in five children living with asthma, and 25% of the population suffering from allergic rhinitis – whether caused by pollen in the air or other forms of irritants such as mould, dust, ormicroscopic skin particles from household pets.
Rhinitis does not just affect the nose, throat or eyes – it is also linked to sleeping disorders, ear ailments and even learning problems. Despite the high level of prevalence in South Africa, specialised care and local research into allergic diseases has lagged. There is now a significant opportunity for the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria to change this phenomenon and contribute meaningfully to a better understanding of allergology in South Africa and to enhance care.
The immediate goal is to create a Centre of Excellence for Allergology Practice and Research in South Africa. The aims of the new Centre would include creating and consolidating opportunities for research into allergic diseases, providing innovative and high-quality allergy care based on local research findings, and training allergologists and students in the science of allergology.
The Centre would also seek to identify and recognise the distinctive and unique causative agents that contribute to allergic diseases in the developing world – which has been a neglected area for global research to date.
To find out how you can contribute to this research please contact:
Project Leader: Prof Robin Green Tel: +27 (0)12 354 5272 [email protected]