Tag Archives: public health

Public Health advises Waterloo Region residents to take caution when outdoors this summer

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

Summer hiking season is back, and along with it, warnings to be on the lookout for ticks.

At Waterloo Regional Council on June 19, the Waterloo Region Public Health Department warned residents of the increased presence of black-legged ticks in the area. A black-legged tick bite can transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Dr. Adele Chang, the Region’s Associate Medical Officer for Health describes the detection of these ticks in Cambridge and that three additional tick-borne diseases — anaplasmosis; babesiosis; and Powassan virus disease, have been added to the provincial list of diseases of concern.

Bolstering Dr. Chang’s warning, the eTick website reports a doubling of tick sightings in the area.

Alongside these warnings comes advice on how to prevent tick bites in the first place. Rebecca Piavison the Public Health Manager for Vector-Borne Diseases at the Region of Waterloo, provides practical tick tips, emphasizing the importance of physical barriers, insect repellents, and thorough body checks after outdoor activities.

Waterloo Region Board of Health finds success updating school immunization records

MP Holmes
Kitchener, ON

 

As Regional schools prepare for their final month of the school year, the Waterloo Region Department of Public Health reported to Council on May 23 that over 37,000 immunization records have been updated for school students since January, preventing student suspensions.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the region, provided an update on the enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act. While Dr Wang discussed the suspension of some students due to their outdated records, she also noted the Region’s high compliance rate, particularly for measles immunization, with no local cases reported.

A full compliance report will be provided in the fall.

CKMS News -2024-04-12- Public Health orders student suspensions over vaccinations records while facilitating adherence to immunization rules

CKMS News -2024-04-14- Public Health orders student suspensions over vaccinations records while facilitating adherence to immunization rules

by: dan kellar

Waterloo –
Nearly 7,000 secondary school students in Waterloo Region have been told they will be suspended on May 1st for having out-of-date vaccination records.  The order, from Region of Waterloo public health was announced on April 8th and follows the suspension of 2969 elementary school students on March 27th for the same issue.

The suspensions are allowed under the Immunization of School Pupils Act which, as the Waterloo Region District School Board told CKMS News “requires families and caregivers to ensure that their children receive specific vaccinations.” Students without a medical or ideological exemption must be up to date on up to 9 vaccines. COVID Immunization is not on the required vaccine list.

David Aoki, the Director of Infectious Disease and Chief Nursing Officer for Region of Waterloo Public Health spoke with CKMS News about the seemingly high number of suspensions, and how students and families can get suspensions lifted.

ACCKWA’s HIV self-testing program at risk due to non-renewal of federal funding

2024-03-04-ACCKWA’s HIV self-testing program at risk due to non-renewal of federal funding

by: dan kellar

Funding for an HIV self-testing program will not be renewed by the federal government in the 2024 budget despite the positive effects touted by front-line service organisations such as the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA).  The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed to CKMS News that the funding will cease at the end of March.

The national program supplied self-testing kits and provided funding for workers to assist those seeking and HIV test, including guiding folks through the proper testing process.  CATIE, an NGO focused on providing information to front line service providers in Canada called the HIV self-testing program “an important piece in overcoming hurdles and bridging the gaps between diagnosis and treatment”.

This show features an interview with Ruth Cameron, the executive director of ACCKWA, who discusses the importance of the HIV self-testing program and provides some impact data.

The music on today’s show is Daedalus Requiem, the first single from composer Erik Lankin’s, debut work “The Icarus Album”.  Check ErikLankinMusic.com for more information about the Canada Council for the Arts funded creation, and @ErikLankinMusic on youtube to watch the video. The song was shared with permission of the artist.

New report sounds alarm that Ontario taxpayers’ money is being diverted from public hospitals to private health care

MP Holmes Kitchener, ON

Public hospitals in Ontario have been starved of billions of dollars under the Ford government while private health clinics have received a windfall of taxpayers’ funds, according to a new report by the Ontario Health Coalition.

“Robbing the Public to Build Private: the Ford Government’s Hospital Privatization Scheme” was released by the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, in part with the larger Ontario Health Coalition, at the Waterloo Public Library on Feb. 21.

According to the OHC report, over the last few years, private clinics in Ontario received a 212 per cent increase in funding in one year, rising from approximately $38 million in 2022-23 to over $120 million in 2023-24. At the same time, public hospitals received an increase of 0.5 per cent to their operating budgets. In Kitchener alone, this underfunding has manifested in 140 vacant RN positions due to lack of funding.

CKMS has more on the story.

Chief Medical Officer warns of potentially deadly disease on the rise in Waterloo Region

MP Holmes

Invasive Group A Streptococcus (IGAS) – which can cause afflictions from a sore throat to flesh-eating disease – is on the rise in Waterloo.

Chief Medical officer of Health Dr Hsiu-Li Wong presented the respiratory disease update at the Region of Waterloo council meeting on Wednesday evening.

While the overall number of people infected is still low as of early January, the Public Health Agency of Ontario noted that 540 infections were reported in Ontario alone from October 2023 to the end of December. Within this data were 6 children under the age of 9 who succumbed to the disease.

Dr .Wong described symptoms of a severe IGAS infection, which include fever, sore throat, neck pain and rash that continue to worsen.

Epidemiologists do not yet understand why the disease has spiked and recommend taking precautions including proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick.

CKMS News – 2023-07-04 – Jim Stewart of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition discusses protecting Ontario’s public healthcare from privatization

Listen: CKMS News – 2023-07-04 – Jim Stewart of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition discusses Protecting Ontario’s public healthcare from privatization


By: dan kellar

As the efforts by the Ontario government to privatize public health care in Ontario accelerate, protests by health care workers and local residents have taken place across the province.  On June 26th over 200 people demonstrated in front of St. Mary’s hospital in Kitchener to tell the government “Healthcare is a Human Right, Hands off our Hospitals!”.

Attending the event were representatives from the Waterloo Region Health Coalition and today’s show features an interview with Jim Stewart, the chair of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, a node in the Ontario Health Coalition whose goal is to defend public health care against privatization.

In the interview Stewart speaks on Doug Ford’s and the conservative government’s continuing privatization agenda, the work the Waterloo Region Health Coalition is undertaking and the growing movement within the healthcare system, and across the public sphere, that is organizing to support health care workers and protect public healthcare in Ontario.

For more information on the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, visit waterloohealthcoalition.org.

 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, Heritage Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of this program on radiowaterloo.ca/news, and listen to all the LJI content at canada-info.ca.

If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2021-05-31 – Outdoor play, team sports, and the pandemic

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Host: Namish Modi

Our piece features interviews with Kitchener Minor Baseball president Ron Moiebrook and research manager from Outdoor Play Canada Louise de’Lannoy. 

Moiebrook shared his plans for a return to play for its leagues. The league ran both its rep and house leagues in 2020 with a shortened season. The interview took place on May 19, prior to the Ontario provincial government’s reopening announcement on May 20. 

Moiebrook said that he’s hoping for a much more complete season in 2021. Under Ontario’s reopening plans, outdoor sports could return in June. Safety protocols will be in place, while smaller leagues and a lower amount of travel are probably as players take the field again. Thus far, registration for the summer season is a bit slower, but Moiebrook expects that could pick up when there is more certainty on plans.

de Lannoy says that outdoor spaces are more important than ever, amid the pandemic. She is pleased that the outdoor spaces were slated to reopen as Victoria Day weekend began but believes most of those spaces shouldn’t have closed in the first place. 

Those outdoor spaces are supremely important, especially for those who may not have access to green space. 


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on radiowaterloo.ca/news., and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at canada-info.ca.

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at news@radiowaterloo.ca

CKMS News – 2020-09-07 – Doctors for Defunding Police

Host: Ivan Angelovski

On May 27, 2020, in the High Park neighbourhood in Toronto, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black-indigenous woman, ended up dead after an encounter with Toronto police. The police were originally called by her mother to try to de-escalate an unsafe mental health situation.

All of this is under several investigations, so I’m very careful with words.

One of those investigations – the one by the Special Investigations Unit, the SIU – unit that’s supposed to investigate police misconduct in Ontario, cleared all the police officers that were at the scene.

The decision sparked a new set of anti-racism protests across Canada, a series of protests started after the murder of George Floyd in the States.

Whatever the truth is, and probably only people who were in that apartment know what it is, the case goes to the list of cases in which people with mental problems ended up dead after coming across police officers in Ontario, like Ejaz Choudry, Ian Pryce, and Andrew Loku, among others.

In Toronto, an organization Doctors for defunding police started a petition, now signed by 622 Canadian doctors and health professionals, warning that policing in this country is a public health crisis and calling for a change on how this society is reacting to mental health, and other issues.

In this program, we’re talking with doctor Suzanne Shoush and medical student Semir Bulle, from the University of Toronto who started the organization.

Background:
The letter and signatories can be found here: https://doctorsfordefundingpolice.com/ and oyu can find Doctors for Defunding the Police on twitter: @DrsDefundPolice

Download audio: https://soundfm.s3.amazonaws.com/CKMSNews-202-09-07-DoctorsForDefundingThePolice.mp3

White text in all capitals on a black background reading "Wellness checks should never be a death sentence." @drsdefundpolice"
White text in all capitals on a black background reading “Wellness checks should never be a death sentence.” @drsdefundpolice”. Image courtesy of Doctors For Defunding Polcie


This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.