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H1N1 Flu Virus: First Virtual Summit for First Nations Communities a Success

by NationTalk on November 10, 20091725 Views

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Nov. 10, 2009 – Today, First Nations communities across Canada participated in a nationwide Virtual Summit on H1N1 preparedness, and shared information on how to deal with the second wave of H1N1 in their communities. The event was co-hosted by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Shawn Atleo.”This summit permitted a frank exchange with First Nations groups across the country on the latest H1N1 developments,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “It highlighted the outstanding preparations that have taken place in First Nations communities in advance of the second wave of the H1N1 flu virus.”

The Minister added that 95 per cent of these communities had a pandemic plan in place by the time the Fall flu season arrived.

The webcast profiled First Nations communities engaged in their planning and preparedness efforts and featured presentations by key officials from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. An expert panel was also online to provide answers to questions posed by First Nations youth and members of the community on issues relating to H1N1.

“Many of our communities have faced unique challenges in preparing for the pandemic – their location, poor infrastructure and limited resources. Our communities have worked hard in addressing these challenges, demonstrating innovation and resourcefulness to ensure their citizens are as well prepared as possible,” said National Chief Shawn Atleo. “Our efforts today were aimed at providing recent and up to date information that we hope will support the efforts of our leaders and frontline workers in community preparedness.”

The Virtual Summit stems from the Communications Protocol signed by the Assembly of First Nations, Health Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on September 19th which commits all partners to work together to plan for and respond quickly and effectively to an H1N1 flu-virus pandemic in First Nations communities.

The webcast will be available for the next few weeks in an archived version at: www.fnh1n1summit.ca

Egalement disponible en francais.

For more information, please contact
Media Inquiries:
Health Canada
613-957-2983

or

Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
Josee Bellemare
613-957-0200

or

Assembly of First Nations
Karyn Pugliese
613-241-6789 ext 210

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