Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Allergy and Immunology Service has been accredited as an Urticaria Center of Reference and Excellence by the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA²LEN).
Urticaria, or hives, is a type of rash characterised by itchy, swollen, red welts. It can affect anyone and has multiple causes, including reactions to medications, stress and anxiety, environmental factors such as sunlight and heat, and food allergies. The itching caused by urticarial can be mild or severe. Chronic urticaria is painful and can reduce the quality of life for the affected patient. The accreditation from GA²LEN tells patients that the quality and safety of HMC’s Allergy and Immunology Service meets robust international standards.
“We are delighted to be formally recognised by GA²LEN for the high-quality care we deliver to patients with urticaria,” said Dr Mariam al-Nesf, head of the Allergy and Immunology Service.
Worldwide, allergic diseases are common and are increasing in prevalence. Asthma, urticaria, and immunodeficiency disorders are the most common allergy, immunological, and respiratory-related conditions treated at HMC.
“Urticaria, often called ‘hives', is one of the three most common allergies treated in Qatar and presents as an itchy rash with swelling on the surface of the skin. We see a large number of patients in our clinics with this condition, and our care teams help them manage their symptoms and clear up the rashes as quickly as possible,” explained Dr al-Nesf.
HMC’s Allergy and Immunology Service has undergone enormous growth and development since it was formed in 2006. Due to increasing demand, the service moved from Hamad General Hospital to a more spacious location in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City at the end of 2016. The service receives around 1,000 new patient referrals each year and experienced a 26 % increase in referrals in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.
According to Dr al- Nesf, HMC’s Allergy and Immunology Service operates 15 clinics each week, three times more than when the service first began.
“The new location has provided our clinical teams with more space to treat patients – delivering an expanded and improved service while also improving the working environment for staff,” said Dr al-Nesf.
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