Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 11-17, and during that week, Allergy New Zealand will be campaigning for various allergy-related causes in the country.
One in 10 children in New Zealand is affected by a food allergy before age 5, the group says, and recent findings and branches of research suggest that government health ministries can be doing more to help.
Goals include improved guidelines and training in schools
Allergy New Zealand plans to send an open letter to the Minister of Health to ask for an urgent review of infant feeding guidelines in light of a new study showing that early introduction of peanuts may protect against peanut allergies later on.
The group is also writing to the Minister of Education to request that clearer guidelines be provided to schools in the country. They’re also petitioning for more training and support of personnel in the schools to ensure the safety of kids with allergies. This, they say, is in response to the reduction in public health nurse support for many schools.
Finally, they are writing to push for the approved funding for auto-injectors despite the “adverse market conditions” that put the program on hold.
“Our principal concern that is while the clinical markers for these conditions are at epidemic levels, the people empowered to mitigate these issues and ensure our children’s safety and wellbeing, seem content to wait for a political reason to act,” Mark Dixon, CEO of Allergy New Zealand, said in a release. “Their continued in-action in the face of such compelling evidence can only raise questions challenging their integrity.”