Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's World Allergy Week. Is anything happening?

April 8-14 is World Allergy Week.

What is World Allergy Week? It appears not to be much more than a name, although the organizers held phone conferences Monday and today. Google News doesn’t list any items for World Allergy Week; nor does the website for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Here’s the official press release.

WAW is a creation of the World Allergy Organization, a loose federation of 93 national allergy societies.

This year’s WAW is focused on food allergies and sensitivities. Food sensitivities (and allergies) can trigger eczema for many people—and allergies to pollen and pets are also a major problem.

I was alerted to WAW by Elopy Sibanda, a professor of clinical immunology and allergy at the College of Health Sciences in Harare, Zimbabwe. I value Sibanda’s perspective because his work makes it clear that allergy can affect people around the globe and is not something that can be automatically blamed on modern science and medicine.

Come to think of it, that may be the point of World Allergy Week.

I asked Sibanda a number of questions by email. Let’s hope he responds.

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