Researchers, health professionals and patients to work together to help Canadians living with hepatitis C
OTTAWA, July 27, 2015 /CNW/ - In advance of World Hepatitis Day on July 28, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $4.5 million in a new national network focused on improving the health of Canadians living with hepatitis C and preventing new infections. The network will be led by Dr. Naglaa Shoukry, a scientist at the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal Research Centre (CRCHUM) and an Associate Professor at Université de Montréal, and involve more than 60 researchers, health professionals and partners across the country.
The National Collaborative Hepatitis C Network will support innovative and interdisciplinary research and the use of research evidence to enhance patient care. Through the network, Dr. Shoukry and her team will work to improve prevention strategies, enhance access and adherence to treatment, and better understand the health challenges of Canadians living with hepatitis C.
The network was funded through a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Hepatitis C virus infection, or hepatitis C, is a global health problem with nearly 185 million individuals infected worldwide.
- It has been estimated that approximately 220,000 people in Canada were living with chronic hepatitis C in 2011 and that nearly half of those individuals may not have been aware they were infected.
- Viral hepatitis can lead to chronic liver disease which, left untreated, can have serious health consequences including liver failure or cancer.
"Our Government is committed to working with provinces, territories and other partners to address the challenge of hepatitis C in Canada. This network will be an important resource as we work together to raise awareness, prevent new infections, and improve the health of Canadians living with hepatitis C."
Minister of Health
"Our network is guided by the overall goal of eliminating hepatitis C in Canada. Through a continuous pipeline from discovery to implementation, we intend to reduce transmission of the virus through novel prevention strategies and vaccine development, increase the number of those cured of infection in particular in vulnerable populations through innovative treatment strategies and cascade of care, and improve health outcomes among those living with hepatitis C."
Dr. Naglaa Shoukry
Nominated Principal Investigator, National Collaborative Hepatitis C Network
"The Public Health Agency of Canada is proud to support this important initiative; enhancing Canadian-based research through the National Collaborative Hepatitis C Network will ensure that the public health response continues to be informed by the best available evidence that reflects our national context."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer
"The creation of this national network comes at an exciting time in the field of hepatitis C research, when effectively curing infected individuals is a real possibility. We are pleased to have partnered with the Public Health Agency of Canada to support this network, and to continue to fund innovative and important research on hepatitis C."
Dr. Marc Ouellette
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563, [email protected]