Children with fatal allergies are an ever increasing health concern not only for Australia but for the whole world in recent years. While it has been estimated that about 12 people lose their life due to anaphylactic shock in Australia alone every year, the number of people requiring medical attention for allergic condition is on the increase (Amy 2011). Blacktown Sun has recently reported about Justin Hardy who suffered from severe food allergies. However, the report said that the boy had long waiting period of two years just to get proper medical attention. According to the information available everyone with such disease conditions was put on the waiting list for months or even years. Amy (2011) describes the situation to be an epidemic that spreads around the world. In fact, the cause of such a development in human beings is almost unknown to the scientific world. Justin was unable to eat nuts or eggs. His face turned red and mouth started itching whenever he ate any of the allergenic food. Wheezing and vomiting was followed by loss of consciousness when he consumed egg or nuts, while he ran the risk of losing life on such occasions. Since the children are the worst sufferers of this condition, widest possible measures are essential on the issue. The following review, therefore, strives to better comprehend the information and guidance of World Health Organisation (WHO) on maintaining the highest level of public health. Thus the objective of this review is to discuss some of the determinants from the WHO’s report in relation with the above said health condition and its outcomes.

The vulnerability is higher among the children from the economically backward families of every society. The social gradient is very evident in all walks of the society as the social and economic factors maintained poorly could affect the health conditions of a person all through his life (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003). Such higher and lower economical rankings in the society would have a say also in the psychological health of a person. In all possibility, the psychological stress ultimately causes physical illness and premature death. On the other hand, Amy (2011) reports that the economical background of many parents would not let them take the children to private hospitals. The no affordability of poor parents is a common factor in almost every country around the world. Hence, effective policies are to be made in order to enable the public hospitals to enhance the out patient services, as exhorted by Amy (2011).

WHO considers social dissimilarity as a determinant in health standard of a society, furthermore, the social gradient is the most contemptible social injustice faced by the modern society (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003). A person’s life moves through a sequence of transitional changes and bringing up a child is an important phase of the transition to build up a healthy family. Depending on the economical background of a person, each of these changes in life could inflict positive or negative health implications on. Those who are ranked economically lower would, most of the time, end up as the unprivileged lot. Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) call for welfare policies to enable the poor and downtrodden to seek medical help at the earliest possible.

Moreover, taking care of a child with food allergy would necessarily require healthy living conditions and improved housing standards. A society with healthy living conditions could be described as society that enables all its members to be active in the social economical and cultural fronts. Quality and complete education is the base on which such societies would be built upon. No child in an equal social structure will be deprived of medical attention or faced with insecurity of not getting care on time.

However, the real cause of allergy is unknown as mentioned earlier. When people react to a food, they generally believe they are allergic to that particular food. Though the person might experience symptoms in association with one or two particular foods, studies have proved that a food allergic person can have adverse reactions to a number of foods. A comprehensive list of allergens to a patient can only be emerged through some extended initiatives such as immunoproteomics and so on (Beyer and Bardina 2002).

Considering the fact that the causes of allergic conditions are not clearly known, the rest of the determinants discussed by Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) may not directly influence food allergy. Whereas, the main problem mentioned in Amy’s (2001) report is the predictable delay in availing medication to this life threatening disease condition. In the case of Justin, he was diagnosed at the age of two and was provided an EpiPen which is the equipment to inject life saving medicine, but his mother was trained to use the device by an allergist a year later. According to Brad Frankum, a clinical immunologist, all the children diagnosed with food allergy will undergo a waiting period of six months to meet the allergy specialist. Once the long process of identifying foods they are allergic to is completed, the medication may start after one year (Amy 2011).

Obviously, the Australian Medical Association has realised the intensity of the situation in right spirit. They have started training specialist to reduce the delays in the process of treatment. However, assistant professor Douglass said “It is putting a lot of pressure on the medical system” (Amy 2011). The lack of medical professionals in such circumstances would reduce the productivity of the professionals due to stress on the work place. As a matter of fact, reducing the work related stress in every field can bring good health and thereby more productivity because if a person enjoys better control over his work, he/she will enjoy good health. This increased productivity can, to a great extent, be the immediate solution for the delay in the process.

The work as a determinant accentuates the co-relation between improved working conditions and healthy work force that march towards increased productivity (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003). The stress of high demand in the job must be reduced with effective policies that provide better working atmosphere until adequate number of personals are trained to fill the void. The management must make sure that employees are treated with respectable professional status and self esteems in terms of remuneration and incentives (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003). Overall, the policies are to be made immediately to address situation and tackle the issue so that a task at hand may not become a catastrophe to face.


Amy, C. (2011, March 19) Children Wait Years for Allergy Treatment The Blacktown Sun http://www.blacktownsun.com.au/news/lifestyle/style/wellbeing/children-wait-years-for-allergy-treatment/2108096.aspx

Beyer, K & Bardina, L. (2002) Identification of sesame seed allergens by 2-dimensional proteomics and Edman sequencing: seed storage proteins as common food allergens. Journal of Allergy Clin Immunol 110:154–9.

Wilkinson, R & Marmot, M. (2003) Social determinants of health: The solid facts WHO Regional Office for Europe Publication DK 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark