Allergy awareness takes centrestage

  • Family
  • Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014

Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology (MSAI) president Dr Amir Hamzah Datuk Abdul Latiff speaking during an interview on cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) at E&O Hotel in Lebuh Farquhar, Penang. April,3,2014. ZHAFARAN NASIB/ The Star.

The Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI), together with Nestlé, join forces for Malaysian allergy awareness campaign.

THE Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI), together with Nestlé, has taken allergy awareness one step further by launching the Malaysian Allergy Awareness Campaign 2014 at a hotel in Petaling Jaya recently.

The Malaysian Allergy Awareness Campaign is a calendar of educational events taking place in various locations across Malaysia that will run till August 2014.

The campaign is designed to help parents deepen their understanding of childhood allergies, and drive awareness on allergy risk management.

Present at the official launch was Dr Amir Hamzah Datuk Abdul Latiff, president of the Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI) and Nestlé Nutrition country business manager, Xavier Payrard.

According to Dr Amir, one in five children in Malaysia is at risk of developing allergies. He shared this finding while announcing the latest allergy risk statistics from a new study in which a total of 12,103 pregnant women volunteered for an allergy screening programme conducted at 68 clinics in the Klang Valley participated.

The study is the first of its kind in Malaysia looking into the potential allergy risk of the children of a large group of pregnant women based on family history of allergy.

The study also indicated that Malaysia’s allergy risk prevalence mirrors that of Western countries.

“Allergic conditions impact the individual, their family members and the healthcare system. If both parents have an allergic condition, their child may have a 50-80% risk of having an allergic condition.

“Yet, if both parents have no allergies, their child still runs a 15% risk of being allergic later in life,” noted Dr Amir.

The launch of the Malaysian Allergy Awareness Campaign unveiled two significant milestones that would aid in the prevention of allergies.

First, the release of the Malaysian Allergy Prevention (MAP) Guideline for Healthcare Professionals, a collaboration between the Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI), Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Malaysia (OGSM) and

Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA).

Due to the increased prevalence of childhood allergies, the three societies have come together to formulate the guidelines for the prevention of allergies. The document would be made available to healthcare professionals nationwide to support and guide clinical practices.

The second milestone is the introduction of the Allergy Risk Tracker (ART), an interactive device that is currently placed at 39 hospitals across the country.

The Allergy Risk Tracker (ART) is capable of assessing a child’s allergy risk based on family history through asking a series of simple questions.

A family history of allergies is one of the simplest and easiest ways to check if an individual is at risk of developing allergic diseases.

The Allergy Risk Tracker (ART) will determine a person’s allergy risk classification – be it low, medium or high.

Payrard commented: “Family history is used for many diseases to find out the risk of individuals. The ART device is capable of bridging the gap between the healthcare professionals and parents in the detection of childhood allergies.

“In line with the results shared by Dr Amir, Nestlé is working in partnership with MSAI and leading hospitals across the country to deliver a holistic education campaign that is designed to not only help parents understand their child’s allergy risk, but also empower them with the knowledge to manage childhood allergies with confidence,” he added.

  • The Malaysian Allergy Awareness Campaign builds momentum on Saturday, June 14, with a “Managing Childhood Allergies Workshop for Parents” at the Boulevard Hotel in KL. Admission is free. For more information or to register for the workshop and public forums, please visit or log on to The first 100 participants to the workshop or any public forum will walk away with a free goodie bag.

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