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Allergies Count Too (ACT) NOW Program - Canada

Author: Asthma Society of Canada

Published: 2011-02-08

Synopsis and Key Points:

Allergies Count Too (ACT) NOW a program that will fill the gap in allergy education and provide critical information to Canadians.

Main Digest

Allergies Count Too, (ACT) NOW - The Asthma Society of Canada expands programming to empower people with respiratory allergies.

In response to increasing public inquiries for information on respiratory allergies, the Asthma Society of Canada (ASC) announced today the launch of Allergies Count Too, (ACT) NOW a program that will fill the gap in allergy education and provide critical information to Canadians.

Through the ACT NOW program, Certified Asthma/Respiratory Educators will offer support and education about asthma and respiratory allergies in English and French to people who reach out to the ASC's Support Line via phone (1-866-787-4050) or email (info@asthma.ca). The free service will be available across Canada as of March 1, 2011.

"The Society is receiving a growing number of inquiries about respiratory allergies, how to control and treat them, what medications are available, how to use them correctly and what potential triggers might be," said Christine Hampson, President and CEO of the ASC. "We are simply responding to a demand that's clearly out there. The ACT NOW program is the first step towards helping these people."

The program also includes a website (www.asthma.ca/allergies/) that provides further educational support, and contains information on how to manage respiratory allergies as well as an online questionnaire that helps visitors assess their allergy symptoms and the impact allergies might have on their quality of life.

Jo-Anna Gillespie, a Certified Asthma Educator from Vancouver, said, "I provide asthma and allergy-related education to people who are looking for non-urgent, non-medical advice. This program will make a big difference because they will have convenient access to current asthma and allergy information from the comfort of their homes."

The ACT NOW program will provide education on asthma and respiratory allergies only. For information on food allergies and anaphylaxis, the Asthma Society recommends Anaphylaxis Canada as a key source in providing support and education for patients and the community.

AllerGen NCE Inc. supports the ACT NOW program and is hosting a media conference at its 6th annual research conference in Vancouver to publicize the program's launch.

Dr. Susan Waserman, Chair of the Society's Medical and Scientific Committee, said, "Research shows that 80 per cent of people with asthma also suffer from allergic rhinitis, and that not treating allergic rhinitis could lead to more symptomatic asthma. The program's objective is to provide the best information possible so that people with both diseases can manage them appropriately."

The Allergy and Asthma Education Support Program (ACT NOW) is made possible by a restricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline Inc.

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