Epidemiologists in the Field video - With Described Video

Learn more about the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program and discover how Salman contributed to the recovery and response efforts after a typhoon hit the Philippines.

Transcript

Transcript - Epidemiologists in the Field

Philippines Epi's in the Field Re modification JINGLE

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Public Health Agency of Canada

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Epidemiologists in the Field

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Salman Klar – Epidemiologist

I arrived in Tacloban on July 26th and at that point it had been about two and a half months since the typhoon, and coming in from the airport which is quite close to the water, you see the devastating impact the typhoon had on the communities, particularly the ones living close to the water because they were devastated by the tidal wave and high winds. There's still quite a bit of debris around the city. The roads have been cleared but we still see quite a bit of debris and destruction of the typhoon.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is a member of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) of World Health Organization (WHO). The Public Health Agency received a formal request for assistance in the post typhoon recovery and response efforts. I'm the third epidemiologist that was mobilized from Canada to assist with these efforts. I work with a team of public health professionals who help minimize the risk of outbreak from infectious diseases. We also provide support in reconstruction and recovery efforts with a particular focus on rehabilitation of health care facilities.

So one of the key roles we play here is to assist the Department of Health in managing the surveillance in epidemiology activities. We also assist them in responding to ongoing public health issues. Another activity is looking at alerts and then go out into the field to investigate the alert and collect information on the cases. I believe our team makes a difference on a daily basis. We provide support at various levels and we pick up wherever there is a need.

Canadians are involved at many levels here including with the WHO and also with many other NGOs. Canadians were also involved initially, and a foreign medical team was mobilized from Canada to assist with the response here, and their work was greatly appreciated by the local communities and also by our other international partners.

Canadian epidemiologists have had involvement with GOARN mobilizations for many years and have been mobilized to many other international disasters including earthquakes, typhoons, floods and major outbreaks of infectious diseases.

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Global Polio Eradications Initiative –Uganda, Liberia, Nepal

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Capacity Building – Belize, Bahamas

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Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Preparedness – Tunisia

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Cholera Outbreak – Haiti

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Rift Valley Fever Outbreak Response – Kenya

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Post Earthquake Public Health Rsponse – Pakistan

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Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response - Uganda

Being mobilized here shows Canada's engagement with a wider international community and our willingness to contribute and help out when there's a need around the world.

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For more information on the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program visit: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

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Public Health Agency of Canada

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