The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health meets with global partners to strengthen preparedness and response to health emergencies
March 12, 2018 Ottawa Public Health Agency of Canada
Public health risks in one part of the world can threaten the health of people worldwide. That’s why protecting the health of Canadians, and populations around the world, requires a global and collaborative approach to preventing, detecting and responding to health threats.
On Friday, March 9, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, participated in an international meeting to discuss emerging health security issues and to explore collaborative actions to strengthen health security globally through the Global Health Security Initiative (GHSI).
This initiative brings together health ministers and representatives from other countries and the World Health Organization annually to share experiences and best practices. Through this endeavour, global partners explore joint actions to strengthen global health preparedness and response to pandemic influenza as well as biological, chemical and radio-nuclear terrorism threats.
In particular, discussions centred on public health measures that can be taken early in a pandemic to slow the spread of illness before pharmaceutical treatments, such as vaccines, might become available. Ministers also explored challenges and best practices to effectively communicating with the public during health emergencies, when the situation may be uncertain and information can change rapidly.
While in London, Minister Petitpas Taylor also participated in events on the margins of the GHSI meeting to learn about health initiatives underway in the UK and to share Canada’s perspectives and experiences on mental health and opioids. These events included:
- visiting the Well Centre, which provides a confidential and safe place for youth to access physical and mental health services;
- hosting a roundtable discussion on mental health;
- meeting with experts and officials from the UK to discuss the opioid crisis affecting many countries around the world; and
- meeting with Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, an organization that supports global health research.
The Minister also met with Canadian High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, the UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, and the Minister for Sport, Gambling, Civil Society and Loneliness, Tracey Crouch, on a number of domestic and international health issues.
“The Global Health Security Initiative is an important network through which countries can work together to prevent, detect and respond to global health risks. Infectious diseases, such as influenza, could rapidly progress from a community-wide outbreak to a worldwide pandemic. That’s why we have to take a global approach to protect the health of Canadians and the health of people around the world.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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