Health of Canadians 2019: Described video



(A maple leaf hovers above a gradient of multi-coloured dots.)

Dr. Theresa Tam:

Canadians, by and large, are healthy.

(Zoom in on maple leaf and the words “life expectancy” appear.)

Life expectancy in Canada is one of the highest in the world. Today, on average, a Canadian woman can expect to live to 84 years, and a man, to 80.

(Circles with a female and a male symbol appear. In the circle of the female symbol, numbers count up rapidly and stop at 84. In the male, the numbers count up to 80.)

We are more educated than ever.

(A graduation cap appears then fades away.)

And fewer of us are living below the poverty line.

(Multi-coloured polka dots fill a circle. A horizontal line appears across the circle. About one third of the circle is below the line. The line has a money sign icon on one end and a grocery basket on the other. The line shifts down in the frame. Now, about one quarter of the circle is below the line.)

But that is not the whole picture.

My name is Theresa Tam and I am Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.

(A photo of Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer, pops up.)

Every year I publish a national snapshot of the health of Canadians.

(The scene changes. A sea of moving polka dots covers the screen. They arrange themselves in the shape of a Canada flag.)

It describes our country’s promising health trends and pressing health priorities.

(The words “promising trends” and “pressing priorities” appear superimposed on it.)

Nearly half of all Canadian adults live with at least one chronic health condition.

(The scene changes. Nine circular icons appear. A heart and blood pressure monitor icon is labelled “hypertension”. A knee joint icon is labelled “arthritis”. A bone with holes icon is labelled “osteoporosis”. A lungs icon is labelled “COPD”. A human head with an inhaler icon is labelled “asthma”. A finger with a blood droplet icon is labelled “diabetes”. A heart icon is labelled “heart disease”. A tumor cell icon is labelled “cancer”. A human head with question marks icon is labelled “dementia”.)

Chronic diseases are the single greatest burden on Canada’s population. But, there is some good news.

(Asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke appear as a vertical list of words.)

According to recent data, Canadians are developing some of the most common chronic diseases less often.

(At the bottom of the frame, a diagonal line is drawn trending slightly downward as it travels slowly from left to right. As the line enters the right side of the frame, it becomes a dashed line.)

I think this is promising because a small decrease in chronic disease rates can make a big impact over time.

On the other hand, I have some concerns. Our national childhood vaccination rates have been stalled for almost a decade.

(The scene changes. A circle with a syringe icon is labelled “Measles vaccination coverage in Canada”. A horizontal line at the bottom of the circle is labelled “Current 90%” and a horizontal line at the top of the circle is labelled “Target 95%”. A bullseye at the end of this line pulsates.)

If we continue to fall short on vaccination targets like this one, preventable diseases like measles could resurge.

(A large Canada map appears with several multi-coloured dots on it. The dots suddenly expand. At the same time, new small dots pop up across the map.)

This would put our most vulnerable at risk.

(The map blurs and fades. Three circles appear on top. One circle has a young child icon, one has an elderly woman’s face icon, and one has a patient in a stretcher with an IV icon.)

Antibiotics are medicines that we rely on to save lives, but drug-resistant bacteria are already changing our health.

(The scene changes.)

Text on screen: In 2018, 15 deaths a day were linked to drug-resistant infections (adapted from Canadian Council of Academies 2019).

Dr. Theresa Tam:

If we do not rapidly change the way we use antibiotics, we risk losing our ability to treat everyday infections or deliver essential and life-saving treatments like surgeries and chemotherapy.

Text on screen: More than 50% of all gonorrhea infections are resistant to at least 1 antibiotic. Drug resistant staph (MRSA) infections increased by 60% since 2012.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

At the same time, the rates of sexually transmitted infections are surging.

(Three circles appear in the frame and the year 2007. The largest is labelled “Chlamydia 73,937 cases”. The middle is labelled “Gonorrhea 11,874 cases”. The smallest is labelled “Syphilis 1,250 cases”.)

(The year changes to 2016. Each circle expands in size, the expanded area shown in a different colour. The chlamydia circle is now labelled with 121,244 cases and an upward arrow beside 49%. The gonorrhea circle is now labelled with 23,708 cases and an upward arrow beside 81%. The syphilis circle is now labelled with 3,829 cases and an upward arrow beside “178%”.)

Syphilis cases have almost tripled.

(A red line is drawn around the syphilis graphic multiple times.)

Substance use can be harmful.

(The scene changes. A large circle appears with images of pills, a syringe, a cigarette and a filled wine glass.)

I am concerned that many Canadians are at risk, especially young people. Four out of five Canadian adults drink alcohol, and 1 of those 5 is a heavy drinker.

(An outline of a glass bottle. Five blue circles appear in the bottle. Four of the circles turn yellow. One of the four yellow circles becomes transparent with a white outline.)

More than half of Canadian teens say they drink.

(All 5 circles disappear. The bottle fills more than halfway with small dots.)

And more teens are vaping, just as we’re learning of its serious and avoidable health effects.

(A circle appears with the label “Teen vaping”. Above, “74%” is displayed beside an upward arrow. The words “2017 vs 2018” are above. An e-cigarette icon is below.)

Opioid-related deaths continue to be a particularly pressing concern.

(The scene changes. A large circle almost fills the frame. It says “12 deaths per day.” A small dark circle appears at the bottom right of the previous circle with pill icons in it. Two medium sized circles appear at the left and right of the frame. One says “90% were age 20 to 59” and the other becomes a male symbol and says “3/4 deaths were men.” The “12” has a pulsating underline.)

Last year, 12 people in Canada died every single day. Street drugs are largely to blame.

Text on screen: 80% of accidental overdoses are due to toxic fentanyl.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

And for the first time in 4 decades, Canada’s life expectancy has plateaued for men and women. This is largely due to the sheer number, and young age, of opioid-related lives lost.

(The scene changes. Two short, uneven and nearly parallel curved lines appear. The line at the top has a female symbol at the left end. The line below has a male symbol at the left end. They are uneven and become closer together as they extend out of the frame from left to right. The frame follows the lines. The lines plateau just as they hit a large circle filled with a pill capsule, a tablet and a syringe icon. The panning stops at the large circle. A question mark replaces the previous icons.)

This number could have been higher if not for the public health measures already put in place.

(The frame pans down and zooms out until a Canada map fills the background. The words “Prevention,” “Treatment,” and “Harm reduction” appear superimposed.)

While Canadians, by and large, are healthy, certain groups experience poorer health than others, often due to factors beyond their control.

(The scene changes.)

Text on screen: South Asian, African, Caribbean, Black Canadian adults are more than 2 times as likely to have diabetes than white adults.

Dr. Theresa Tam:

These differences are driven by unfair treatment in society, the economy, and through history.

Text on screen: Bisexual women and lesbians are almost 2 times more likely to be heavy drinkers than heterosexual women.

(The scene changes. A stacked horizontal bar graph is titled “Indigenous Life Expectancy vs. Canadian Average.” One bar has a female symbol at the bottom and the other a male symbol. Colour blocked sections are tied to a coloured legend for “Inuit, First Nations, Métis and Canadian Average”. The male bar shows life expectancy for Inuit, First Nations and Métis men is 66, 68, and 72 years, respectively, and the Canadian average for men is 80. The female bar shows life expectancy for Inuit, First Nations and Métis women is 73, 74, and 78 years, respectively, and the Canadian average for women is 84.)

Dr. Theresa Tam:

So to change numbers like these, we must look beyond simply changing people’s behaviours, and change our institutions, our neighbourhoods and our society-at-large.

(The scene changes. A small circle appears with a human icon. Three different coloured, concentric circles of increasing size appear around it.)

We must also pay increasing attention to the health threats of climate change.

(The scene changes. A Canada map appears with circles and icons. A fire icon appears over British Columbia. A wheat sheaf icon appears over the Prairies. A caribou icon appears over the North. A tick icon appears over southern Ontario. A thermometer icon appears over Quebec. A storm cloud appears over the Atlantic region.)

A changing climate may reveal new risks. Or magnify health challenges we already face.

(The wheat sheaf, storm cloud and tick icons briefly change colour. The fire, caribou and thermometer briefly change colour.)

And while different regions will face different challenges, we must work together to adapt.

(Zoom out and the Canada flag is on a blue globe.)

We all have a role in improving the health of Canadians.

By taking action on these priorities and others in my annual report, we can help all Canadians achieve their best health possible, now and in the future.

(The cover of a report appears.)

Text on screen: Addressing Stigma: Towards a More Inclusive Health System. The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2019.

(The report opens like a book and fades.)

Text on screen: Public Health Agency of Canada.

(The scene changes. A Government of Canada logo with an animated Canadian flag.)

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