Why choose the £1 Hospital for an allergy service?
Our background research indicates that there is no evidence of up to date diagnostic and disease modifying treatment (for instance immunotherapy) facilities available in Bangladesh. Allergy is a big subject and an increasing number of patients suffering with allergic disorders worldwide with an estimated figure of 64 millions in Bangladesh alone. Allergic diseases include asthma, bronchitis, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), chronic nasal allergies, conjunctivitis, eye allergies, skin allergy including eczema, urticaria, food allergies, latex allergy, wasp and insect allergies, angioedema, drug allergies and anaphylaxis.The most common allergens (the substances cause allergy) in Bangladesh are enviromental polution factors such as exhausts from vehicles, smoke from brick fileds, dust, house dust mite, mould, pollens, eggs, beef, brinjal, milk, prawn, shrimp, dried shrimp and hilsha fish etc.
Unfortunately, understanding about allergy in the general population is very poor and misunderstood. Ignorance and a lack of initiative to develop awareness and education is the primary cause. People do not think allergy is a major problem, therefore it remains undiagnosed and untreated. It is evident that there is a close relationship between allergic rhinitis and asthma. Up to 40% of patients with allergic rhinitis have asthma and as high as 80% of asthmatics also have allergic rhinitis. Therefore, early identification, proper diagnosis, effective management and follow up of allergic rhinitis in childhood may decrease the number of asthmatis in adulthood and vice-versa. According to EAACI 2014, by 2025 asthma will represent the most prevalent chronic childhood disease and may claim the highest budget in health care.
Despite its huge clinical implications and the high prevalence of allergy sufferers, it is not even included in the medical curriculum of basic medical degrees resulting in insufficient knowledge in medical graduate also. Although about one third of the world population suffer with an allergy in their life time and up to 20% of them suffer a serious debilitating disease, they live in fear of death from a possible asthma attack or anaphylactic shock (EAACI, 2011).
It is not getting importance even in the medical profession results in shortage of specialists in this field worldwide and this number is extremely low or none in Bangladesh.
In the western countries and Europe in addition to modern diagnostic facilities, there are some disease modifying drugs (immunotherapy) are in practice for certain types of allergic diseases. Allergic patients have an opportunity to access in these facilities including allergist consultation what is unavailable for the patient of Bangladesh. £1 hospital would like to work in this gap.
Irrespective of whether the patient is poor or rich, all are being deprived from treatment and diagnostic facilities. In addition to developing awareness of this issue, £1 Hospital through Allergy Bangladesh would like to introduce this innovative treatment and diagnostic facilities for the allergy patients in Bangladesh.
For providing the appropriate treatment, diagnosis/detection of an allergen is the key point which includes a blood test (RAST), CRD, skin prick test, patch testing etc. They are very expensive tests. Among them Skin prick test is one of the safe, simple, and comparatively less expensive methods of determining a culprit allergen by which an individual has been attacked. The fees for this test in the UK is approximately £75.00. In some cases patient may be advised for modern treatment (immunotherapy) which also very expensive too. However, immunotherapy is currently unavailable in Bangladesh.
Although the fortunate people of Bangladesh would be able to have the treatment visiting abroad, it’s impossible for the poor or low income earning sufferers. According to the gadget published in 2013, the basic salary of a garment worker in Bangladesh is 3000BDT (£24) and the medical allowance is 250BDT (£2) per month.
For reaching the diagnosis of an allergen, despite SPT is less expensive, a poor patient simply cannot afford the test and for a low income person with BDT250 (£2 equivalent money) national medical allowance cannot afford the test too. Imagine the people who are unemployed, have nowhere to stay and of course in Bangladesh there is no benefit/ state monitory or accommodation help scheme as there is in the UK for example.
Therefore a pound or equivqlent money from your pocket is nothing for you, but is life saving for others. According to the bulletin of the WHO reports, in Bangladesh about 3 children in 100 at the age of 1 and 11 months dying from simply diarrhoea (allergy may be one of the cause!) and the number is significantly higher in real life and in particular in the remote area of Sylhet. Only a few packets of saline and medical advice which may cost £1 or equivalent money could save a life of a beautiful child.
One pound hospital is dedicated to establishing a specialised treatment and research hospital in asthma and allergy in Bangladesh, in addition to offering the basic treatment and health related advice to the poorest in Bangladesh as an initial phase of service.
To get involve please visit www.onepoundhospital.org.uk