National Infectious Diseases Day: NIDD Report
OTTAWA - October 18, 2007 was Canada's first National Infectious Diseases Day and Canada's infectious diseases sector partners were very pleased to share with Parliamentarians and media our call for a National Infectious Diseases Strategy to improve Canada's healthcare system and the quality of life of Canadians.
They challenge us to work together. The following organizations partnered as an organizing committee to deliver National Infectious Diseases Day for the benefit of Canadians:
Canadian Foundation for Infectious Diseases (CFID)
Association of Medical Microbiologists and Infectious Disease (AMMI) Canada
Community and Hospital Infection Control Association - Canada (CHICA-Canada)
Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CACMID)
International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID)
Industry partners including Astellas Canada, BD Diagnostics, Merck Frosst Canada, Pfizer Canada, Roche Canada, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
Financial support was supplemented by the Jackman Foundation
Volunteers for National Infectious Diseases Day made rounds on Parliament Hill meeting with a total of 60 Parliamentarians. The main issues presented were:
Canada's national capacity to detect, prevent and control infectious diseases
The crisis of healthcare associated infections
The benefits of preventing community associated infections
Increased research to prevent and treat infectious diseases
These Parliamentarians subsequently proposed that they will support a National Strategy with:
Hearings of Standing Committee on Health of the House of Commons in early 2008 on infectious diseases and the need for a national strategy
A two day session of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology
Personal Letters endorsing a strategy to the Prime Minister and Minister of Health
Workshops conducted throughout the afternoon and attended by 30-40 people. The goal of the workshops was to identify specific and objectives in each key area of the Call for a National Infectious Diseases Strategy position paper. The main areas identified include (in no particular order):
1. Requirement for support for the creation of a National Surveillance System for infectious diseases;
2. Development of national standards for Infection Control Practitioners and hospitals;
3. Creation of national guidelines for human resources in Canada and promote training programs for nurses, PhD programs, etc.
4. Research funding for infectious diseases needs to be championed,
5. Education of the general public through a vocal campaign that will teach individuals how they can help prevent infectious diseases and keep themselves and their loved ones healthier.
Bilingual (English/French) Communications materials developed for the Day include:
12-page position paper entitled "A Call for a National Infectious Diseases Strategy"
Fact sheets on Community-Associated Infections (CAI), Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI), and Research
All materials are available on the website.
Media coverage of the Day and interest in infectious diseases was strong and included stories by the National Post, the Globe and Mail, CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio, Canadian Press, Presse Canadienne, and many online news sites.
In summary, National Infectious Diseases Day was a giant first step in putting infectious diseases onto a national agenda. In so doing, our partners hope to co-ordinate clinical and public health efforts with regard to infection through a National Infectious Diseases Strategy, as well as increasing resources for prevention of infection and research into infection.
Infectious diseases know no borders. They ignore silos within our health care delivery system and constitutional divisions in governance.
National Infectious Diseases Day will return on October 23, 2008. The collaboration will begin earlier to organize and expand the Day beyond Parliament Hill and involve more partners in educating Canadians about infectious diseases. If you are interested in joining this initiative please contact email@example.com.
For media inquires please contact:
Communications Manager, AMMI Canada
Tel: 613.260.3233, ext. 104