Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

March 25, 2008 11:19 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Improve Surveillance of Chronic Disease Risk Factors Among Canadian Youth

SELKIRK, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - On behalf of the federal Health Minister, the Honourable Tony Clement, James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, today announced Government of Canada support to the Interlake Regional Health Authority to help enhance surveillance for chronic disease risk factors in Canadian youth.

"Examining chronic disease risk factors such as smoking, healthy eating, and physical activity are an important step in protecting the health and well being of Canadians," said Mr. Bezan. "The Government of Canada recognizes that in order to continue the fight against chronic disease in our country, it is important to improve chronic disease surveillance, particularly for today's youth - tomorrow's leaders."

The surveillance project will benefit youth in Canada by providing new data to local public health units, regional health authorities, and schools to plan health promotion and prevention programs on health behaviours like smoking, eating and physical activity. In addition, the project will also allow regional public health organizations across the country to increase their knowledge, skills, and resources in order to undertake the surveillance of chronic disease risk factors. The Government of Canada is providing over $117,000 for this project to the Interlake Regional Health Authority.

According to the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, about 15% of all youth aged 12-19 suffer from at least one chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, respiratory illness, mental illness, digestive system illness and bone and joint disorders. Around 40% of youth reported at least one risk factor for developing a chronic disease including inactivity, daily or occasional smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.

"We are very excited to begin working on this important initiative," said Kevin Beresford, Chief Executive Officer, Interlake Regional Health Authority. "This federal support will ultimately allow us to better understand the health status of children living in Interlake communities and put in place an updated tool for capturing vital information on chronic disease risk factors."

This federal funding has been provided through the Public Health Agency's Enhanced Surveillance for Chronic Disease program which aims to expand data sources for chronic disease surveillance, and improve planning, coordination, and evaluation of chronic disease surveillance systems.

The Interlake Regional Health Authority is responsible for the operation and administration of facility and community based health programs and services at a regional level within the Interlake region of Manitoba. (

The Public Health Agency of Canada was established in 2004 to help Canadians achieve better health and well-being through the prevention of chronic disease and injury, promotion of good health, and protection from infectious diseases and other major health threats.

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Contact Information

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
    Jacinthe Perras
    MP James Bezan's Office
    Dana Seymour