Newspaper column on Anaphylaxis

      

Raising Awareness of Anaphylaxis

Dean Allison, M.P. – From the Hill

Pelham News

December 10, 2010

 

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight my latest legislative initiative in Parliament, M-546, which reads as thus: That in the opinion of the House, anaphylaxis is a serious concern for an increasing number of Canadians and the government should take the appropriate measures necessary to ensure these Canadians are able to maintain a high quality of life.Anaphylaxis is a medical condition describing people with severe, life threatening allergies. Reactions are rapid in onset and may cause death without immediate treatment.

Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex or even exercise can cause reactions. In Canada, the most common food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, fish, sesame and wheat. Anaphylaxis has no cure, though important research and efforts to find a cure are underway. Avoidance is the required preventative measure.

This motion will be coming up for a vote in the House of Commons early in the New Year and has already been receiving broad, cross-party support. I’ve been especially pleased to see this reflected in the support that I have been receiving from local MPs in neighboring Niagara ridings, particularly by MP Rick Dykstra in St. Catharines and by MP Malcolm Allen in Welland.

I have also been especially struck by the efforts of a member of Niagara Anaphylaxis Support & Knowledge (NASK) member Chris George, whose 7-year old son is dealing with anaphylaxis.

To help build on the early support that this motion has already been receiving, I have been hosting non-partisan meetings of MPs from across Canada on Parliament Hill to discuss how the federal government can better respond to the growing numbers of Canadians who must cope with this condition.

Recent medical research reveals that 1 in 13 Canadians suffer from life-threatening allergies and, as a society; we must begin to find new ways to reduce the risks of unnecessary and preventable anaphylactic incidents.

I understand, and at times can certainly relate to the pessimistic attitudes that people feel towards the government process. However, I have been witness to the good work that can be done when parties work together on the Hill that has successfully tackled a wide range of health concerns that has made Canada a safer, healthier, happier place to live. It is my hope that Anaphylaxis will merit the same attention when it comes time for a vote.

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