The 3rd Middle East-Asia Allergy Asthma Immunology Congress (MEAAIC) kicked off today to tackle the latest in allergies and asthma highlighting cutting edge and state of the art knowledge, current and future treatment strategies which will help professionals deal with this growing worldwide public health problem. The three-day conference is an internationally-developed allergy asthma immunology meeting in the Middle East-Gulf region.
A staggering fifteen percent of the population in the UAE suffers from asthma, one of the most common allergies. The percentage of asthma in children is twice as higher than in adults. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 250,000 persons die of asthma annually and the death rate per 100,000 persons with asthma aged 5 to 34 years in highly populated China is greater than 10%. However, asthma can be controlled with optimal treatment. In North America, an estimated 22.2 million persons (6.5 million children and 15.7 million adults) have asthma, and in 2003, asthma accounted for 1.4 deaths per 100,000 persons. The rising prevalence of allergies ranging from 5-46% reflect that allergy is an epidemic of the 21st century.
According to Professor Ruby Pawankar, Chair of the 3rd MEAAAIC and Past President of WAO, Allergies are rising to epidemic proportions worldwide affecting 30-40% in both developed and developing countries with a major socio economic impact leading to several billion US dollar losses. In addition to asthma and rhinitis, the second wave of rise in allergic diseases is seen as food allergies and skin allergies. Allergic diseases like food allergies can lead to severe life-threatening allergic reactions like anaphylaxis and death. Such deaths can be prevented with proper awareness, diagnosis, treatment and preventative strategies. The WAO White book highlights this in order to educate the public and to influence regulators and policy makers towards key policy decisions. The MEAAAIC is a platform to bridge the knowledge gap among practicing physicians in the region, to better provide treatment to patients and be the core of developing research and task forces that provide insights into the regionall status of these diseases. The 3rd MEAAAIC has put forward a state of the art scientific program delivered by the Worlds Who’s Who to delegates from 43 countries.
MEAAAIC is an important platform for medical professionals to exchange expertise and knowledge about advances in allergy asthma immunology which emphasises the importance of the Middle East-Asia healthcare system’s preparedness to deal with health risks and epidemics.
The congress is supported by the Ministry of Health of UAE and SEHA. Several world organizations including the World Allergy Organization (WAO), the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) are also partnering in this effort.
Dr. Fares Zaitounn, Congress Chair said that the meeting is bringing together over 60 sessions that includes over 100 talks, with topics that have never been looked before. With the growing burden of allergy and asthma, a platform like this will give the professionals information on best practices and hands on experience on managing patient challenges.
More than 50 speakers from around the world will lecture on hot topics on asthma, rhinitis, food allergies, occupational allergies, skin allergies. Leading experts from the region will also discuss the regional perspectives, thus enhancing scientific exchange and providing a platform to understand the commonalities and the diversities in the etiology, epidemiology and the disease patterns that exist in different parts of the world.
Attendance of the congress provides delegates with 17 CME approved hours by the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
For more information, please visit www.meaaaic.org.