OTTAWA, May 16, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, along with the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Gregory Taylor, kicked off a conference in the nation's capital to inform the development of a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease.
The conference will provide an opportunity to bring together perspectives on Lyme disease from key stakeholders, including patients' groups, the medical community, government organizations, as well as individual Canadians, to inform the Federal Framework, a national plan to address this disease.
Discussions will focus on the three key themes of the Federal Framework, as outlined in An Act respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease:
- national medical surveillance to track incidence rates and the associated economic costs of Lyme disease;
- guidelines and best practices for the prevention, identification, treatment, and management of Lyme disease and sharing of best practices throughout Canada; and,
- development of standardized educational materials for use by Canadian public health providers to increase national awareness about the disease.
The conference was organized jointly by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation and the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease. As part of the proceedings, a Public Forum was held on May 15, 2016 to allow individuals to share their experiences with Lyme disease.
The input received at the Public Forum, as well as the online consultation held in June 2015, and the conference will help shape the Federal Framework.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with provincial health authorities and stakeholders to develop the Federal Framework to help mitigate the health risks posed to Canadians by Lyme disease.
- Within one year of the conference, a report outlining the Federal Framework will be posted online. After the report is posted online, it will be tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
- Lyme disease is a serious emerging infectious disease in many parts of Canada and is caused by the bite of blacklegged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
- Since 2010-2011, CIHR has invested more than $2.8 million towards Lyme disease projects.
"This conference provides an opportunity to build on our best practices and discuss how we can better work together to address the challenges of emerging infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease, to protect the health and safety of Canadians."
Dr. Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
"Today marks an important step to working more collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders to improve our existing efforts to mitigate the health risks to Canadians posed by Lyme disease."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada, 613-957-2983