Improving lung health in rural First Nations communities

Jun 22, 2018 | News

This photo was taken by a member of our Diabetes Health Centre team on a trip to visit the Carrier Nation communities.This photo was taken by a member of our Diabetes Health Centre team on a trip to visit the Carrier Nation communities.

National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ culture and heritage across Canada. Read on to learn about research that aims to improve the health and wellness of people in rural First Nations communities in BC.

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Securing funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is highly competitive, so it’s all the more impressive that Dr. Pat Camp received two project grants in CIHR’s fall 2017 competition.

Dr. Camp, a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI) at St. Paul’s Hospital, was one of only 11 researchers in Canada to be awarded two grants in the competition. Both will support studies that aim to improve the health and wellness of people in rural First Nations communities.

Principal Investigator at HLI and recipient of two CIHR grants, Dr. Pat Camp.

First Nations people in Canada have more challenges with lung health compared to non-First Nations people. They are often exposed to more air pollution and cigarette smoke and have a high prevalence of cough, wheeze and shortness of breath. And while many people access health care services for chronic lung diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD isn’t even on the radar in many First Nations communities.

One of Dr. Camp’s CIHR funded projects, “Bayis II Tus”, seeks to better understand the burden of COPD in remote and rural First Nations communities in Northern BC. The project is a partnership between UBC, Carrier Sekani Family Services and 11 partner Nations and was awarded $791,775 for five years.

Chronic lung diseases, like COPD, are less often identified and treatment is limited in First Nations communities in Northern BC. Dr. Camp’s other CIHR funded project, “Niwh Yizt’iyh Hilht’iz Nets’eelh’iyh”, hopes to expand access to a form of treatment called pulmonary rehabilitation, which includes exercise and education. This project is also part of a partnership between UBC, Carrier Sekani Family Services and 11 partner Nations and was awarded $803,250 for five years.

Find this story and more like it in the PHC 2017/18 Annual Report.

Research & Learning

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