AlergiaPT: the ISPUP project that aims to inspire people with allergies

The AlergiaPT project, promoted by the Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP), was chosen as one of the winners of the This is Public Health (TIPH) Global Grant Program, the funding program created by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, which rewards initiatives related to the dissemination and promotion of the importance of public health.

Coordinated by researchers Henrique Barros and André Moreira, from ISPUP, AlergiaPT intends to inspire Portuguese people with allergies to adopt a more positive attitude towards life, through a social media based campaign.

Officially launched on World Asthma Day, which, this year, is celebrated on May 4th, the project aims to promote allergy tolerance and foster a new attitude towards allergies among people, prevent the exacerbation of severe allergies and alert to the importance of improving air quality.

To achieve these goals, a communication strategy based on social media will be prepared, with content directed to the various target audiences of the project: the general population, health professionals, pharmacists, schools, scientific societies, and patient associations.

Content such as live talks on social media, webinars targeted at healthcare professionals, as well as competitions and allergy awareness campaigns targeted at the student community will be produced by the project team, who will also contact online ambassadors to support the initiative.

Reducing the short-term impact of allergic diseases

According to André Moreira, “the general objectives of AlergiaPT will be to reduce the impact of allergic diseases in the short term, promoting early and effective diagnosis and treatment, and in the medium term to move from treatment to prevention, by addressing the causes of allergic disease”. 

The programme also seeks to address the growing trend in the diagnosis of allergic diseases. “Allergy is the most frequent chronic disease in Europe. More than 150 million Europeans suffer from at least one allergic disease and it is estimated that in 2025 half of the European population will be affected,” clarifies the ISPUP researcher. 

The outlined strategy aims to put health above allergy and reduce the economic and social impact of allergic diseases, through concrete initiatives.

AlergiaPT, whose ambassador is researcher Francisca Castro Mendes, begins in May 2021 and will last about a year. 

Other researchers participating in the project are Inês Paciência, Cristina Abreu, Diana Silva, Inês Pádua, Tiago Rama, Mariana Farraia, João Rufo, Francisca Castro Mendes and Diana Seabra.

About the TIPH Global Grant Program:

The TIPH Global Grant Program is a global funding program that rewards initiatives related to the dissemination and promotion of the importance of public health.

Created by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), it has established partnerships with associations of schools of public health from around the world, including the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER).

This year, 20 international projects were awarded, one of which was AlergiaPT. More information about the program and the winning projects is available here.

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