The Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Unit, Ain Shams University, pioneered the development of the specialty in pediatrics in Egypt and North Africa. The unit is dedicated to achieving excellence in education, training, and research with the aim of producing new generations of highly qualified allergists and immunologists. Its ultimate goal is to serve patients with the compassionate health care of the highest clinical and ethical standards.
The unit was founded in 1988 by Prof. Yehia El-Gamal and has tremendously grown ever since in the number of staff and services. It is currently headed by Prof. Elham Hossny. The unit deals with allergic diseases as well as primary immunodeficiency and autoimmune disorders in infants, children, and adolescents. It is a tertiary center that receives patients from all over the country. Its outpatient clinic operates three days a week and receives about 300 patients per week; new cases mount up to 25 per week. The integrated laboratory provides services six days a week. The unit also has an SPT and immunotherapy facility that operates five days a week. There are currently 24 beds that belong to the unit in the children’s Hospital of Ain Shams University.
Faculty members of the PAI unit are very enthusiastic and devoted to teach, train and promote their specialty and they currently comprise 8 professors and associate professors as well as 7 lecturers and assistant lecturers. They hold many workshops to train general practitioners and nurses on caring for allergy/immunology pediatric patients. Many basic and clinical research projects in allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology are undertaken in the PAI Unit. Undergraduate rounds are held in the unit because allergy and immunology are included in the Ain Shams undergraduate teaching curriculum. The PAI unit also is a training center for house officers and residents. Many Masters and Ph.D. theses are produced in the unit by postgraduate students. The scientific activities of the unit attract health care providers from other hospitals in Cairo and other Egyptian governorates.
In line with the mission of the WAO, The PAI unit adopts clinical innovation and has good potential advocacy with patients, patient groups, lay community, and government. It has become a proficient center with recognized faculty who are mentors in allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology. It represents a well-established research facility and its members have a good deal of published papers in peer-reviewed journals. It distributes booklets and brochures that contain brief information about allergy/immunology disorders and the major international guidelines on their management. The unit is currently trying to establish local and national registries for allergy/immunology disorders and is looking forward to participating in international registries.