Public health in the Canadian Arctic: Contributions from International Polar Year research
The contributions of several IPY health projects are highlighted in the context of population health indicators for Inuit Nunangat. Food and housing are two critical social determinants of health contributing to health issues on many levels. The nutritional deficit associated with food insecurity and the transition away from traditional and towards market foods represents a dual risk with profound consequences. Knowledge of the physiological benefits associated with traditional food consumption is increasing, including for mental health and chronic disease. Ensuring the safety of traditional foods in terms of zoonotic diseases is thus highly valuable and efforts to institute adequate monitoring and address knowledge gaps are underway. Acute respiratory disease among the young remains a significant public health issue with potential long term effects. The human papilloma virus is manifesting itself among women across northern Canada with high risk types that are more similar to profiles observed in Europe than in North America with possible implications for immunization programs. Despite a high prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infections among residents of Inuit Nunangat, the outcomes appear to be relatively benign. Communication of new knowledge on the manifestation of this virus among northern populations is provided to health care providers in the North through modern technology.
Owens, S. (Sandra), de Wals, P. (Philippe), Egeland, G. (Grace), Furgal, C. (Christopher), Mao, Y. (Yang), Minuk, G.Y. (Gerald Y.), … Dewailly, É. (Éric). (2012). Public health in the Canadian Arctic: Contributions from International Polar Year research. Climatic Change, 115(1), 259–281. doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0569-3