World allergy specialists to meet in Hyderabad on December 6
For the first time in India, the World Allergy Organization (WAO) will host the WAO International Scientific Conference (WISC 2012) from December 6 to 9 in Hyderabad providing a multidisciplinary forum for a wide range of health care professionals, who treat patients with asthma and allergic diseases.
The conference, which would be held under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, expects to gather nearly 1,500 delegates from around the world.
As the discipline of allergy spans various specialties, the scientific program will offer a wide range of courses and subjects: 24 postgraduate courses, 5 plenary sessions, 16 parallel symposia, 6 keynote lectures, 3 poster sessions as well as a half-day program on "Highlights in Immunotherapy," a 'General Practitioner Program', and a 'Patient and Public Forum', all delivered by a faculty of 90 internationally known experts.
254 abstracts were accepted from clinicians around the world, and travel grants have been awarded to 5 junior clinicians. Allergic diseases and asthma, like other non-communicable diseases, are escalating to epidemic proportions worldwide and up to 30-40 percent of the world's population are now affected by some form of allergy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 300 million individuals have asthma worldwide, a figure that could increase to 400 million by 2025 if trends continue. The complexity and severity of allergic disorders, including asthma, continue to increase especially in children and young adults. This is paralleled with a rising prevalence of life threatening allergies like food allergies, drug allergies and anaphylaxis and more complex forms.
"As the prevalence of allergic disease and asthma rises in countries around the world especially in children regardless of their economic status, so do the socioeconomic costs both direct such as interference with breathing during day or night, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations, and indirect such as reduced quality of life, reduced work productivity and absenteeism," said Professor Ruby Pawankar, Conference President and President of the World Allergy Organization.
"This offers an opportunity for low-, middle-, and high-income countries to join forces in addressing a major global challenge that threatens health and economies alike," she said.
According to Professor Stephen Holgate, Scientific Program Chair, "The enormous rise in asthma and allergy prevalence worldwide - but especially in those countries which are developing so rapidly - is a concern such as is occurring in India. We must try to uncover the causative agents involved and deliver a prevention program."
The WISC 2012 meeting in Hyderabad, according to Professor Lanny Rosenwasser, Organizing Chair, 'will bring international experts to India in a timely exchange of ideas and new information to manage these global public health concerns. The emerging science of allergy and immunology makes new and effective means of treatment for serious diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic skin diseases'.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad will inaugurate the conference on December 6. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy will preside over the function.