Launch of New First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) Website: First Survey to Prove Greater Incidence of Diabetes Among First Nations



    OTTAWA, March 6 /CNW Telbec/ - With recent reports that signal the
alarming epidemic of diabetes within Canada, the First Nations Regional
Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) is the first survey to prove that diabetes is
3 to 5 times more common among First Nations than the general population. This
gap has been increasing, especially among middle-aged First Nations men and
older women.
    To make available this shocking statistics among many others, the First
Nations Information Governance Committee (FNIGC) is proud to present the new
website for the First Nations (RHS): www.rhs-ers.ca . This is the first time,
in the 10 year history of the RHS, that a dedicated website has been
available.
    "This website will set the standard as the most important reference tool
for measuring First Nations health outcomes," said Manitoba Regional Chief
Katherine Whitecloud, Chair of the AFN Chiefs Committee on Health.
    "RHS is the only national research initiative completely owned and
controlled by First Nations across Canada," said Regional Chief Whitecloud.
"This information will be critical to all governments in making the best
decisions on how to improve the lives and circumstances of First Nations
peoples."
    "The RHS process has been responsible for raising awareness and promoting
the First Nations Principles of OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, and
Possession) which can be described as exercising self-government in research,"
said Jane Gray, RHS National Program Manager. "Many First Nations are now
taking the lead in initiating research projects that operate within a cultural
framework that allows for appropriate interpretation, as well as a governance
model that allows for research to be useful and relevant for program and
policy development at the community level."

    About the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS)

    The First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) is the only
national level, health and holistic survey which is solely governed by First
Nations. The RHS National Team, presently housed at the Assembly of First
Nations, along with its 10 Regional Partners administers the survey on behalf
of the First Nations Information Governance Committee (FNIGC), a standing
committee of the AFN Chiefs Committee on Health (CCOH).
    A pilot survey was conducted in 1997 and provided a foundation for RHS
Phase 1 (2002/03). Currently, the RHS National Team and its Regional Partners
are planning for RHS Phase 2 (2007/08), to be launched in the Fall of 2007.

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Bryan Hendry, A/Director of Communications,
(613) 241-6789 ext. 229, cell. (613) 293-6106, bhendry@afn.ca; Nancy Pine,
Communications Advisor - Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243,
(613) 298-6382, npine@afn.ca


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