International Circumpolar Surveillance program of invasive bacterial diseases
The International Circumpolar Surveillance program is an infectious disease surveillance network of Arctic countries.
On this page
International Circumpolar Surveillance program
The International Circumpolar Surveillance (ICS) program monitors infectious diseases in countries with Arctic regions. It does so through a network of hospitals and public health offices in countries with Arctic regions. People living in these regions may be at higher risk to some infectious diseases than people in non-Arctic regions.
Along with Canada, participating countries in the ICS include:
- United States
- Faroe Islands
Monitoring infectious diseases involves:
- collecting and sharing laboratory results
- comparing incidence rates among northern populations
Regular monitoring helps public health officials:
- understand why there are higher rates of some disease among northern populations
- develop strategies and best practices, including vaccination recommendations, to prevent and control infectious diseases
Surveillance in Canada's Arctic regions
In 2016, about 162,267 people, or 0.4% of the total population, were living in Canada's 5 Arctic regions:
- northern Québec
- northern Labrador
- Northwest Territories
The population is:
- mainly Indigenous, at 61%
- younger, where only 7% are over the age of 64
A network of laboratories serves the Canadian Arctic regions, including the National Microbiology Laboratory.
The ICS program began in 1999 and collects data on 5 invasive bacterial diseases in Canada's Arctic regions:
- pneumococcal disease
- group A streptococcus
- group B streptococcus
- meningococcal disease
- Haemophilus influenzae
Data collected for all cases include laboratory results, risk factors, clinical information and age, sex and ethnicity details.
Reports for each confirmed case are sent to the nearest public health office in the region. The public health office:
- documents the clinical, demographic and laboratory data for each case
- forwards the data to Canada's Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases for data entry and analysis
Monitoring of invasive bacterial diseases in Canada's Arctic regions can help in the development of guidelines for the prevention and management of these diseases. Monitoring of these diseases in Canada's Arctic regions can also help measure how well we are:
- reaching our vaccination coverage goals
- reducing the rate of diseases that can be prevented through vaccination
These goals and targets are based on global standards and best practices. They also align with the World Health Organization's disease elimination targets and Global Vaccine Action Plan.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: