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Media Advisory – Cross-border Conference Highlights Health Disparities for Aboriginal Children

by NationTalk on April 18, 2007872 Views

MONTREAL, April 18 – Aboriginal child and youth health issues will headline the 2nd International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health. With the theme of “Solutions, Not Problems,” the conference will take place April 20-22, 2007 in Montreal, Que. at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

Presented by the Canadian Paediatric Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and in cooperation with the Indian Health Service, the cross-border meeting will highlight solutions to prevalent health problems among children and youth in First Nations, Inuit, Métis, American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Issues to be discussed include injury and violence prevention, environmental and traditional health, nutrition, obesity, diabetes, and substance abuse. While indigenous populations, particularly in Canada and the U.S., face significant health disparities, the meeting will focus on solutions that have been effective in addressing these disparities and how to overcome the many difficulties children face when seeking and receiving care.

“This meeting represents a movement toward change and highlights the role physicians and health care workers can play in improving care for Aboriginal communities, both in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Improving care is an absolute must – there is so much to learn from the successes of programs around the world,” said Dr. Kent Saylor, a paediatrician from Kahnawake, Que. and chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s First Nations and Inuit Health Committee.

This meeting, which builds upon the achievements of the first International Meeting on Inuit and Native American Child Health held in 2005, gives participants the opportunity to share model programs and research, and develop practical skills that can be utilized in community settings.

Almost 300 paediatricians, family physicians, residents, allied health professionals, clinical researchers, community health representatives, and others dedicated to working with First Nations, Inuit, Métis, American Indian, and Alaska Native children are expected to attend.

Conference highlights on Friday April 20, 0830-1200hrs:

Keynote Address by Ovide Mercredi (Former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations)
Hot Topics in Canadian Child Health by Mary Simon (President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami)
Hot Topics in U.S. Child Health by Stacy Bohlen (Executive Director, National Indian Health Board)
Hot Topics in Australian Child Health by Naomi and Tamara Mackean, Australia

The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national advocacy association promoting the health needs of children and youth. The CPS represents over 2,500 paediatricians, paediatric subspecialists and other child health professionals across Canada. Along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CPS has long advocated for the improved healthcare of indigenous children.

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For further information: Media inquiries: Olivia Craft, Canadian Paediatric Society, (613) 526-9397, ext. 234, (613) 850-4868 (cell); For inquiries on Saturday and Sunday, call: (514) 861-3511, ext. 2612

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