The care for patients with atopic diseases in our country is not at a satisfactory level. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), medical trends on allergies and atopic dermatitis (a chronic skin disease) are not followed, and some procedures are not performed at all or rarely (such as desensitization). Furthermore, patients with severe forms of the disease do not have access to biological medicines.
As Vildana Mujkic, the President of the Association of Patients with Allergies, Asthma, and Atopic Dermatitis (AAA) in BiH emphasizes in an interview for agency Fena, there are no specializations in our country, such as pediatric dermatology, which would improve treatment practices. It is for this reason that they launched the AAA Congress and made efforts to bring new knowledge to our doctors.
”It is difficult to be a patient with eczema during the time of the corona. Symptoms are often associated with stress, living conditions, unsuitable humidity, and confined spaces. The biggest challenge is that these diseases are on the margins of importance, and they affect the quality of life in general, ” she told.
She points out that only a multidisciplinary approach to treatment can yield adequate results.
“It is not uncommon for our patients to have mental health problems, for their self-confidence to be destroyed, for their cognitive abilities to be reduced during the most obvious symptoms, such as inhalation allergy, ie. allergic rhinitis. It is enough to say that in BiH there is no clinical psychologist who would be involved in the treatment, ” she said.
The Association of Patients with AAA, registered at the level of BiH, is continuously working on educating both patients and doctors, providing them with resources and access to the latest research in the field of atopic diseases.
“Namely, our organization, as a full member of several international patient associations, is really a source of information and instructions for treatment, but also for living with atopic diseases. During the pandemic, we are available to our members 24 hours a day, we organize webinars and try to answer all questions with great support and help from both ours, as well as doctors from the region and the world who have recognized our work and want to help patients. We continue with the activities, as co-organizers of the AAA Congress, but also as organizers of the school of atopy and asthma school, ” she stresses.
As she says, they are especially proud of the Second International AAA Congress, which will be held online this year. The first two days will host more than 30 lecturers and 400 doctors. She says that the third day of Congress is saved only for patients who will get answers to questions that interest them from eminent doctors.
Atopic diseases are allergic diseases that need IgE antibodies for development. They often attack the nose, eyes, skin, and lungs. They mainly refer to asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and allergies in general. An atopic is a person who usually has an inherited tendency to make IgE antibodies, which makes the risk of some of the mentioned diseases even higher.
Allergic reactions are common, almost every person sometimes has an allergic reaction during their lifetime. Allergic diseases affect five to ten percent of the general population. They are more common among the younger, in developed countries, among the urban population, and in families who are economically better situated.
In BiH, the incidence of allergic rhinitis is estimated at seven to ten percent of the population, and asthma at three to five percent. The presence is higher in children, BHRT writes.