The developed world has done well for its self in studying allergies evidenced by a plethora of publications giving a clear picture of the prevalence of food allergies among most western economies. In this; there has been an understanding of the gravity of the situation and appropriate measures devised to combat the situation.
However serious knowledge gaps on the condition have been witnessed in emerging economies where there are still contentions on whether the condition deserves that sort of attention. But a few gruesome tales seem to have fueled the discussion in emerging economies, as results of damning facts about the condition being unveiled with a growing body of evidence, emerging economies have also become wary of the condition. And with increasing volumes of trade across vast economic blocks with products of which food is among, it has been required that the emerging economies become more inclusive in handling the scourge.
Dr. Alexandra Santos narrates some gruesome tales for BBC, describing “Why the world is becoming more allergic to food”. Some of these gruesome tales have awoken the world to the dangers of undermining the severity of food allergies; which have been the cause of several deaths.
For many, it has been a case of whether food allergies have increased or whether it’s the awareness to food allergies that has increased as more and more cases are being reported on a daily, physicians have their hands full with the condition that seems unlikely to seize.
Food allergies affect up to 6% of children and 4% of adults. And now more than ever, it has been discovered that children are far more likely than ever before to develop food allergies. Allergy prevalence rates in Africa of 20-30% have been reported, including allergic disorders and this suggested that allergy awareness is as important an issue as other highly morbid conditions that plague the continent.
Since many of these conditions go on undiagnosed pointing to a mirage-like perception of them being rare, there is a need for immunology awareness in emerging economies. In this, an interdisciplinary approach has been needed between the involved parties i.e. parents and health care workers to adequately report and adhere to set standards to improve on the current scanty reports and holistically assist in understanding the trends for allergies in emerging economies
- Boye, J.I. Food allergies in developing and emerging economies: the need for comprehensive data on prevalence rates. Clin Transl Allergy 2, 25 (2012).