HIV/AIDS, drug shortages, and childhood obesity all on the agenda
WASHINGTON, DC, July 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Federal Health Minister Leona
Aglukkaq returned from Washington, D.C., today where she represented
Canada this week at the XIX International AIDS Conference, and met with
senior U.S. officials to address other important health issues for
"It was a powerful experience to meet with people whose lives had been
changed thanks to Canadian efforts in fighting HIV and AIDS," said
Minister Aglukkaq. "Canada is seen as a world leader by many, and our
government is proud to make significant investments as part of a global
effort to create an AIDS-free generation."
For the first time ever, HIV in Aboriginal populations was part of the
main conference program, thanks in part to the work of the Government
of Canada and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network.
In her opening remarks to the session, Minister Aglukkaq reiterated the
importance of reducing the rates of HIV infections among Aboriginal
peoples and the need for all countries with Indigenous populations to
work together and share best practices to make real progress, faster.
"In the lead up to the 2014 AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, I
encourage the International AIDS Society, UNAIDS and my global
counterparts to bring Aboriginal and Indigenous issues to the forefront
of their conversations around HIV and AIDS," said Minister Aglukkaq.
The Minister also provided opening remarks, alongside her U.S.
counterpart Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, at a regional session
dedicated to addressing the ongoing HIV and AIDS epidemic in Canada and
"The United States and Canada have a lot in common, and there is so much
that we can learn from each other - whether it's the latest scientific
research or the best educational approach for underserved communities.
That's why these joint sessions, where we can bring our brightest minds
together, are so important," said Secretary Sebelius.
The Minister met with representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, with whom Canada has a partnership, to accelerate the
development of a globally accessible HIV vaccine. This meeting
reaffirmed each partner's ongoing commitment to the Canadian HIV
The Minister also had productive meetings with representatives from
other HIV and AIDS organizations, including the International
Indigenous Working Group on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS, and the International
In addition to participating at the AIDS Conference, the Minister met
with the leaders of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to end childhood obesity in the U.S. The meeting was an
opportunity to learn about the U.S. experience addressing childhood
obesity and promoting healthy weights, and to discuss challenges and
successes in these areas.
The Minister also toured the facilities at CentroNia Childcare Centre, a
multicultural learning organization that has applied Let's Move! programming, to see first-hand its innovative work regarding food,
nutrition and exercise.
Finally, the Minister met with Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to discuss regulatory issues
of mutual interest. They reviewed progress being made on health-related
initiatives under the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan that will better
align Health Canada and FDA processes aimed at improving efficiency and
safety. As well, Minister Aglukkaq and Dr. Hamburg shared information
and lessons learned about the international problem of drug shortages
and the measures both countries have put in place to address the issue.
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SOURCE: PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada