New report focusing on child health lauded as a "tour-de-force"

    TORONTO, March 27 /CNW/ - A newly released report commissioned by
Canada's Health Minister Tony Clement entitled "Reaching for the Top: A Report
by the Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth" is a very positive step towards
improving the health of Canadian children, according to Dr. Judah Denburg,
Scientific Director of AllerGen NCE Inc., the Allergy, Genes and Environment
    Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Chair/Chief of Paediatric Surgery at the Children's
Hospital in London, Ontario, and Co-Director, Health Sector MBA, at the
Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, has
presented a "tour-de-force," a "well-researched and cogent document that, if
implemented, will lead to major improvements in the health and well-being of
our infants, children and youth," says Denburg.
    The key recommendations made in the report, produced with direct input
from major Canadian stakeholders, were:

    -   Development and early implementation of a national longitudinal birth
        cohort study, from conception to age 8, to examine the impact of
        environmental factors on the health of Canadian children. The report
        recommends that AllerGen and CIHR be consulted in the design of a
        cohort study;

    -   Development of a National Injury Prevention Strategy;

    -   Establishment of a Centre of Excellence on Childhood Obesity;

    -   Improvement of mental health services for children and youth; and

    -   Establishment of a National Office of Child and Youth Health.

    "By commissioning such a report, the federal government has clearly
signaled an interest in, and concern for, the well-being of Canadian children.
Minister Clement is to be commended for seeing the importance of understanding
more about factors and issues which influence of the health of Canadian
children. We are very encouraged by this direction and by Dr. Leitch's timely
report," says Denburg.
    AllerGen scientists and experts from many fields of health, together with
CIHR and partners across the country in universities, academic institutions,
hospitals, foundations and clinics, have been engaged in a process of
discovery and capacity building toward some of the goals articulated in the
Leitch report.
    "We hope that this report provides further stimulus and challenge to
Canadian researchers, physicians, families and institutions across all our
provinces to join hands and implement critically important new approaches to
improve our children's health. 'Reaching for the Top' will help guide us to do
better and more for our most vulnerable, young populations," says Denburg.
    Denburg is a Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, and the
Scientific Director of AllerGen NCE, a national research network dedicated to
improving the quality of life for people suffering from allergies, asthma and
related immune diseases.

For further information:

For further information: Judi Pattison, Communications and Marketing
Officer, AllerGen (Allergy, Genes and Environment Network), (905) 525-9140 ext

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