Should allergic children’s lives be at the mercy of a political party? Surely
our children’s lives are of the highest priority- especially considering what
some state governments spend (waste) money on.
As school funding for anaphylaxis training and provision of adrenaline
medication runs out, what’s the next step? If state governments decide to stop
the funding in schools, where does that leave the safety of our severely
allergic children? At the rate that severe allergies are increasing, how safe
will our allergic children be at school?
Considering that “Allergies have emerged as a major
public health problem in developed countries during the twentieth century.” as quoted on the website of leading
allergist Dr Ray Mullins ( AllergyCapital.com.au
“If current trends continue, there
will be a 70% increase in the number of Australians with allergy, from 4.1
million in 2007 to 7.68 million by 2050”
In the very likely event that another tragedy occurs, I wonder what politicians
will say to grieving parents “Sorry, parents of deceased children, we couldn’t
afford to fund training anymore”
I am responding to the recent article appearing in the WAtoday.com.au
“Children with severe allergic
reactions are "at risk" or may "potentially die" following
the state government's decision to stop funding treatments in WA schools,
according to opposition leader Mark McGowan.
don't want to see kids dying in our schools", Mr McGowan said on Sunday in
an announcement that money to treat severe allergic reactions in schools had
dried up and will not be replaced under a Liberal-National Government.
who suffer from severe allergic reactions can experience restriction in
breathing which, if left untreated, can cause death he said.
referred to his experience as a father of three children, saying that "you
can't put a price" on protecting kids by "ensuring schools are
equipped with potentially lifesaving equipment."
Jackie Williams says she is concerned about her
son Art, 4, who has a severe nut allergy.
had been provided with $6.6 million in 2007 from the former Labor Government,
with the money going toward EpiPen injection devices and training staff to
administer treatment of anaphylactic shock.
funding for this important program has now run out and the Liberal-National
Government has abandoned the program, placing vulnerable children with life
threatening allergies at risk," Mr McGowan said.
direction from the state government, Mr McGowan said schools "can do what
they want" with the allocation of their individual budget and expressed
concern that proper face-to-face training, and supplying injection devices at
$120 each, would not be a top priority for every school.
I want to make sure is in place is every school, every public school has an
EpiPen in place and every school has appropriately trained staff."
Labor win the election, $750,000 is promised by Mr McGowan to fund the training
and medication necessary to treat anaphylactic shock in schools.
the money will protect children who suffer severe allergic reactions during
Labor will allocate $500,000 over three years to replace EpiPens – the
adrenaline autoinjectors – in schools each year.
will also provide $250,000 over three years of additional funding to provide
face-to-face training for school staff on how to administer the EpiPen to a
child suffering an extreme allergic reaction."
Mr McGowan's concern that school children will be put at risk, Education
Minister Peter Collier released a statement that contradicted his claims.
Collier said the state government had allocated an appropriate amount of
funding to ensure that schools are not lacking in medical equipment or
has been provided to increase the number of EpiPens in schools as part of a
broader program to manage anaphylaxis in schools."
this funding program ends, EpiPens, including replacements when they are
needed, will continue to be in schools and the government will ensure they are
funded. Teachers and education assistants will also continue to be
trained," Mr Collier said.
president of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia Sandra Vale said the
organisation had been notified of a funding withdrawal late last year.
example of how crucial it is for schools to be prepared to treat anaphylactic
shock, Ms Vale said over an 18 month period, 20 EpiPens had been used during
school hours and "potentially 20 lives saved".
said that while the state had once been "leading the way" in
preventing anaphylactic shock-related death in schools, it was now not the case.
Australia is taking a step backwards," she said.”
I ask you the question “ How do you put a
price on a child’s life?”