Allergy clinic, database planned

National 2 minutes, 22 seconds


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) is looking to gradually set up an allergy testing clinic to improve and maintain a high standard of care for the growing number of patients with allergy-related problems.

Datin Dr Hjh Sabrina Su Hong Abdul Azim Lim, head of Dermatology Department at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, yesterday said the proposed sub-speciality clinic will be a development of the allergy testing services that are available in the country.

“We are moving forward, hopefully, with more diagnostic tests,” she said on the sidelines of the Patch Testing and Skin Prick Testing Workshop held at the ministry’s Al-‘Afiah Hall.

She said they were aiming to provide more diagnostic tests, which will be offered to patients with allergy-related problems.

Through the diagnostic tests, Datin Dr Hjh Sabrina Su Hong explained patients can expect to identify and subsequently avoid their allergy.

In line with their efforts to set up an allergy testing clinic, she said MoH is also mulling over creating an allergen database that would enable them to recognise common allergens.

The department head said they were currently training their staff by equipping the nurses with the skills required to conduct the diagnostic tests, while the doctors will be trained on how to benchmark the standard interpretation of the results.

“If we do not know how to do the tests properly or read the results properly, it could lead to a lot of false positive results. False positive results can lead to a lot of misinformation,” she added.

Slated to be situated at the Dermatology Department, the allergy testing clinic will provide skin patch testing and skin prick testing as well as immunology testing. The facility will also be used by other departments such as Otorhinolaryngology and Respiratory Medicine.

At the opening of the workshop, Datin Dr Hjh Sabrina Su Hong said allergy-related problems such as contact dermatitis, atopic rhinitis and asthma were common presenting problems in clinics.

She said the two-day workshop aimed to provide the knowledge and skills required to perform skin prick and skin patch tests on selected patients with allergy problems. The programme was designed to be practical with lectures and demonstrations of skills for allergic skin testing.

“This workshop will provide us not only essential knowledge, but also a great opportunity to share experiences and exchange information as we have also left ample time for discussion,” she said.

In attendance were doctors and nurses involved in treating patients with allergy-related problems from the Dermatology Department, Paediatrics as well as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT). Present to launch the workshop was Director-General of Medical Services Dr Hj Zulaidi Hj Abdul Latif.

Two specialists from Singapore’s National Skin Centre, Professor Goh Chee Leok, and Dr Anthony Teik Jin Goon, were also invited to share their expertise on allergy testing.

The Brunei Times