Centre of the National Institute of Health Islamabad is a well
known and prestigious centre of its kind in the country and is
playing a pivitol role in providing allergy immunodiagnostic and
immunotherapeutic services to the patients suffering from
different allergic problems. It is the key and sole provider of
allergy vaccine for desensitization and is providing health care
delivery services for the last twenty nine years and during this
period approximately more than 2.8 million patients have been
The idea of
establishing the allergy centre was conceived in the early
80’s.The background was to take necessary diagnostic,
preventive and curative measures for decreasing the allergy
morbidity and mortality in the country and improve the quality
of life, which was affecting most of the patients in their
peak productive years of life.
Due to the
adoption of westernized life style by the people and increasing
urbanization the allergy situation in Pakistan was not much
different from the global situation.
Keeping these facts in view, a number
of trails to test the patients suffering from seasonal allergy,
extrinsic bronchial asthma, perennial allergic rhinitis, hay
fever and spring catarrh were under taken in the year 1979 – 80.
After the successful completion of the trails, formal allergy
vaccine production started in 1981 under the auspicious
supervision and able guidance of late Maj. Gen. M.I. Burney at
the National Institute of Health, Islamabad. From 1981 onwards
NIH started providing Allergy vaccine immunotherapy to the
patients suffering from allergic disorders and thus NIH emerged
as a pioneer in this field.
Due to significant increase in the
number of allergy patients, the Allergy Centre was shifted from
the Public Health Division of NIH to the building of Clinical
Research Division, situated outside and opposite to the premises
of NIH in the year 1989. With the passage of time, the number of
patients which initially were in hundreds has now risen to
thousands per year and thus every year approximately more than
80 thousands patients are treated at this centre. The Allergy
Centre is the only centre of its kind in the public sector
providing allergy vaccine immunotherapy to the patients coming
to it from all over Pakistan including Afghanistan and other
countries. The patients are tested with aero and food allergen
extracts available in concentrated form prepared at NIH.
1. To treat and provide allergy vaccine Immunotherapy to the
patients suffering from nasal , respiratory tract, skin ,
gastrointestinal tract and food related allergy problems.
To diagnose allergy through skin prick test using aero
allergens of pollen, dust, paper mulberry, thresher and raw
cotton and food allergens prepared from protein extracts of
animal meat, sea food, poultry and cereal. These are beef,
mutton, fish, chicken, egg and rice etc. The allergy vaccines
are developed against these antigens in different combinations
To recommend special allergy vaccines containing single
allergens of all the routinely used aero and food allergen
extracts including wheat and house dust mite and different
combinations of allergy vaccine of strength 10-2 in selected
Creation of awareness among the general public and
allergy patients on allergy causal factors and its prevention,
by making use of print and electronic media, development of IEC
material and provision of counseling in the allergy OPD’s.
Collaboration with CDA, Meteorological department and
other concerned departments/institutions involved in taking
allergy control measures.
Up gradation and extension of the present centre
Establishment of a new state of the art Allergy Centre
with diagnostic and curative facilities at NIH.
Is to improve the quality of life of
patients by decreasing the morbidity associated with allergic
diseases, through provision of preventive guidelines on allergy
and curative therapy using diagnostic test for allergy
identification and allergy vaccine immunotherapy for
Set up of Division/Section
is housed in one small portion of the Clinical Research
Division building since 1989.There are three male OPD’s, one
female OPD, a diagnostic and emergency room, two waiting halls
for male and female patients along with a prayer corner, vaccine
issue room, reception , cash receiving counter, and admin . The
setup needs extension and up gradation for providing better
health services to the patients, and a better working
environment for the doctors and staff till the time the new
allergy centre is established.
visiting the allergy Centre are mainly suffering from bronchial
asthma, seasonal allergic rhinitis, perennial allergic rhinitis,
allergic conjunctivitis, skin rashes, urticaria, angioedema,
and other dermatological problems not related to allergies etc.
The centre receives an average of 300-350 patients on daily
basis, however, this number rises up to 500-600 patients per day
during peak pollen, wheat harvesting and summer monsoon season
(March- April, May-June, July- September)
During the fiscal year starting from
July 2007 - to June 2008 and July 2008- to June 2009 the total
number of patients who were desensitized at the Allergy Centre
were 79,701 and 88,727 respectively. The maximum peaks of
patients observed in 2007 and 2008 were during the month of
August i.e 9145 and 8943 patients.
Allergic rhinitis, Allergic bronchial
asthma and mixed cases of allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma
were the common problems for which the patients received allergy
vaccine immunotherapy. Peaks were seen for allergic rhinitis
with figures of 24.69% and 27.87% respectively during 2007 and
Not only the patients are treated at
the Allergy Centre but the centre also actively participates in
imparting /providing health education to the allergy patients
through counseling in the OPDs, pasting/hanging of wall posters,
distribution of informative leaflets on allergy and make use of
electronic media through disseminating useful and healthy
information to its patients through providing “frequently asked
questions” on the NIH website. Allergy Centre also actively
participated in the Health Expo 2006 organized by the Federal
Ministry of Health.
Allergy Centre also keeps liaison with
Islamabad Capital Territory (CDA) in the free allergy camps
arranged at Aabpara every year and make use of the
meteorological department weather forecast information on pollen
for its patients convenience during pollen season especially
those patients who come from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and
Islamabad and surrounding vicinities. Beside all this, allergy
Centre is also generating and contributing to the NIH budget a
revenue of more than 40% from its clienteles every year through
conduct of allergy test and sale of allergy vaccine on
affordable rates and within the reach of even a very poor
Programs & Projects
A PC-1 for the establishment of an allergy
centre costing Rs.39.876 million with diagnostic facilities at
the NIH was approved by the DDWP on 2nd Jan., 2008.
Work will start as soon as the funds become available.
Collaboration with other
During the year
2005-2008, assistance was provided to the students of (1) Hazara
University (2) Barani College (3) Azad Kashmir University and
(4) Comsate Institute of Information Technology.
In order to
cater for the needs of allergy patients of provinces, there is a
proposal for establishing four satellite allergy centres in all
the provincial capitals of the country for patients convenience.
This will also help in reducing the load/burden of patients on
Allergy Centre NIH, Islamabad.