The 2019 Canadian Federal Election: Let’s Talk About Health!

As is now our tradition, Stephen Kutcher and Raywat Deonandan discuss the upcoming  2019 Canadian federal election, focusing on issues relevant to health scientists. This episode is entirely in English.

Comme c’est maintenant notre tradition, Stephen Kutcher et Raywat Deonandan discuter de la prochaine élection fédérale canadienne 2019, en se concentrant sur des questions pertinentes aux spécialistes de la santé. Cet épisode est entièrement en anglais.

Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings

As of today, there are 68.5 million people who have had to flee their homes, nearly 25.4 million of them being classified as refugees (UNHCR, 2018). We have reached the highest level of displacement in recorded history (UNHCR, 2018). There is a need to further discuss the unique and specific needs of displaced people and the complications surrounding effective services.

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Applied epidemiology: Investigation of outbreaks of foodborne illness

Recent, high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks have created confusion and concern for Canadian consumers. From a Salmonella outbreak in western Canada linked to cucumbers in early fall­­, to the current E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, public health is working overtime to identify and solve illness outbreaks linked to the food supply. This post will provide an overview of the investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks in Canada. Continue reading Applied epidemiology: Investigation of outbreaks of foodborne illness

THE NEED FOR AN INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH TO HEALTH: THE CASE OF BREASTFEEDING

Author: Annick Vallières

(The article is available in French only)

Abstract

Intersectionality is a concept that describes the various ways multiple forms of oppression or privilege are interconnected. Today, the concept also applies to the interconnection of different determinants of health in the study of health inequalities. This article describes the concept of intersectionality and how it relates to determinants of health by stating the factors that drive researchers to focus on intersectionality within the scope of determinants of health. It also explains how treating interconnected inequalities as multiple determinants affects people’s health, and how intersectionality can fill the gaps in knowledge surrounding the health of marginalized groups and the general population. The example of breastfeeding is used to show how the intersectional analysis framework could benefit the advancement of knowledge on a specific topic. In conclusion, the article addresses the methodological challenges that are left to overcome to advance the knowledge in this area.

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EXITING STREET-LEVEL PROSTITUTION IN CANADA: THE TRANSDISCIPLINARY APPROACH OF THE INTEGRATED MODEL IN POPULATION HEALTH

Author: Émilie Lessard

(The article is available in French only)

Abstract

This article examines the influence of social determinants of health on the entry into, the continuance in, and the exit out of street-level prostitution in Canada. The complexity of street-level prostitution in young women creates multiple challenges in implementing a theoretical model to identify issues affecting the health of prostituted women. Street-level prostitution, being closely linked to substance abuse and homelessness, leads to increased health risks associated with drug dependence, sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, mental health problems, increased exposure to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and a high mortality rate. It is imperative to establish a transdisciplinary theoretical model to understand the entry, the continuance and the exit mechanisms of prostitution to better target preventative interventions and better support women wishing to leave street-level prostitution. The transdisciplinary approach also aims to provide courses of intervention for leaving the prostitution system and for guiding future research.

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Ontario Election 2018 — What About Health?

June 6, 2018 – In our long awaited second episode, Stephen Kutcher and Raywat Deonandan discuss the upcoming Ontario provincial election.

A couple of documents were cited in this episode:

The election happens on June 7, 2018.


Dans notre deuxième épisode tant attendu, Stephen Kutcher et Raywat Deonandan discutent des prochaines élections provinciales en Ontario. Quelques documents ont été cités dans cet épisode:

L’élection a lieu le 7 juin 2018.

Access for All to Restricted Access: The Evolution of Assisted Procreation Services in Quebec

Author: Andréanne Chaumont

(The article is available in French only)

Que savez-vous des lois entourant la procréation assistée du Ministère de la Santé du Québec? Débuté par le projet de loi no23 en 2010, le programme de procréation assistée a été sujet de grands débats aux seins du corps médical et médiatique québécois dès sa genèse. Sa couverture médiatique est revenue en force en 2014 avec l’adoption de la Loi favorisant l’accès aux services de médecine de famille et de médecine spécialisée (loi no20) dans le cadre de la réforme du système de santé québécois (Gouvernement du Québec, 2015). Le texte ici-bas offre un survol de la couverture médiatique de l’évolution aux services de procréation assistée au Québec (SPA) jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

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Personal Health Technology: Potential, perils, and privacy

Personal health information refers to demographic information, medical history, test and laboratory results, insurance information, and other data that a healthcare professional collects to identify an individual and determine appropriate care1. In the past decade or so, some of the tests and techniques used to collect personal health information have become publicly accessible. For example, private companies now offer genetic testing and genome sequencing to anyone able to pay. At the same time, there has been an explosion of wearable health monitoring devices. Given this revolution in personal health technology, important implications for individuals, the practice of medicine, and privacy must be considered.

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The Global Burden of Surgical Disease: An Analysis of Inaccessible Surgical Care in Low and Middle Income Countries

Authors: Chau Huynh, Minh NQ Huynh

Abstract

Worldwide, 4.8 billion people do not have access to safe, adequate surgical care and anaesthetic management. Surgical care has been deemed “the neglected child of global health,” a startling reminder of the disparities in health services. The provision of surgical interventions can avert 11% of the global burden of disease and 1.5 million deaths each year. Many obstacles exist for low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) to progress towards accessible surgical care. The first challenge is delivering cost-effective surgical care despite financial constraints and political turmoil. Foreign aid was established to alleviate the financial burden and its contributions have been pivotal. However, based on the political climate in certain countries, funds are siphoned to government sectors other than health care. Moreover, the lack of infrastructure, equipment, and personnel in LMIC compound the issue. The other challenge is determining if surgery is as feasible and effective as non-surgical health interventions. Surgical care is crucial and this paper aims to assess the challenges that limit its stature in global health discussions. The paper will address the influence of financing, infrastructure, workforce, service delivery, and information management on surgical care, and the current resolutions, such as humanitarian aid missions.

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Mortality prediction with a single question

“On a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate your own health?”

Self-reported or self-rated health status (SRH) is a commonly used indicator in both clinical epidemiology and population health. It is a subjective measure of health that is thought to reflect an individual’s integrated perception of the domains of health, including biological, psychological, and social dimensions. The World Health Organization considers SRH to be a reflection of population health and healthy life expectancy within countries1. It is assessed either by a questionnaire or by a single question which asks subjects to rate their own health, usually on a four or five-point scale from poor to excellent. SRH has been used as a health indicator in epidemiological studies since the 1950s, and has been found to predict future health outcomes independent of physical, socio-demographic, and psychosocial indicators2-5. It is widely considered to be a valid indicator of health status.

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