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Statement from the Honourable Rona Ambrose

November 27, 2013
For immediate release

Government of Canada Deploys Epidemiologist in Support of World Health Organization Public Health Efforts in the Philippines

(OTTAWA) - The Public Health Agency of Canada has offered to send Dr. Lee Lior to join the WHO response team in the Philippines and work as part of the Global Outbreak Alert Response Network (GOARN). Working with the WHO on a coordinated health response, the team will assist the Philippine's Department of Health to identify and make recommendations on how to mitigate the risks to public health in the wake of this disaster.

Conditions following natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, contribute to increased cases of many infectious diseases such as gastro-intestinal and respiratory diseases. Surveillance is needed on the ground to help detect infectious diseases. In the Philippines, public health concerns include food and water-borne illnesses and vector-borne diseases.

Our Government continues to have epidemiologists on standby if further mobilization is required in order to aid in the response to protect public health.

GOARN is a network of technical institutions and partners that helps to coordinate international responses to disasters. The network provides access to technical expertise, deploys experts to respond to international outbreaks, and supports alert and response capacity in the immediate aftermath of major natural disasters and in complex humanitarian emergencies. The Public Health Agency of Canada is a founding member of GOARN and provides advice and guidance on the operations and development of the network through the Steering Committee.

Media Enquiries:
Health Canada
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Public Inquiries:
(613) 957-2991

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983