A study released this year shows that one of the unavoidable side effects of climate change is an increase in allergy-inducing pollen as well as the lengthening of allergy season.
In South Africa some 30% of the population suffers from AR (Allergic Rhinitis), yet Cape Town is the only city in the country that has an advanced pollen monitoring and sampling program.
UCT's Lung Institute has now embarked on a campaign to raise funds and awareness in seeking sponsors for pollen monitoring across South Africa.
Groote Schuur Hospital Allergy and Clinical Immunology head Professor Jonny Peter talks about its latest survey findings.
30% of South Africans suffer from allergy rhinitis, but a large proportion of those also suffer from asthma which is not just inconvenient but also can be life-threatening.— Professor Jonny Peter, Allergy and Clinical Immunology head - Groote Schuur Hospital
He says climate and environmental change has resulted in not knowing exactly what is in the air currently, hence the need for a monitoring programme.
After last year's drought followed by rains, the pollen count in September last year was at a 10-year high in cape Town.— Professor Jonny Peter, Allergy and Clinical Immunology head - Groote Schuur Hospital
He recommends the unit's own website as the most accurate to gauge pollen counts in Cape Town which has monitored pollen for 20 years.
Listen to the enlightening interview below: