The number of allergy sufferers in the industrialised countries has been on the rise for several years. More than 30% of the population in Europe is directly affected by one or more allergies, not to mention those indirectly affected, such as partners, parents or siblings of allergic persons.
Allergies restrict quality of life for those affected and can in some cases lead to death. And yet they are still not taken seriously by many. Only one tenth of those affected receive appropriate medical treatment. An untreated allergy can cause a decrease in productivity of up to 30%.
In addition to personal strain, allergies also cause economic damage, estimated at about 100 billion Euro per year in Europe. (Source: GA²LEN)
In order to adjust public awareness of these illnesses and also to improve treatment of allergies in Europe and beyond, the non-profit European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) was created in 2003. The foundation is located at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin and is administrated by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Association of Foundations for the German Sciences).
ECARF works to make life better and easier for allergy sufferers. For this to happen, the perception and awareness of these illnesses in society must change.
Once these changes have occurred, allergy patients will have access to a broad set of excellent treatment possibilities. The general public will possess basic knowledge about allergies and how to handle them in everyday life.
This means, for us: a better life with allergies.