Public Health Surveillance

Public Health Surveillance

Public Health Surveillance is not a program. With Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Health Protection, it is rather one of the four core functions of Public Health (R.S.Q., c. S-22., s.4.) Programs are usually developed to enact these functions.

Objectives of the Public health function

In accordance with Quebec 2001 Public Health Act and with the Cree Board of Health's Strategic Regional plan, the objective of public health surveillance is to provide a systemic, ongoing assessment of the health status, health related behaviors, health services use, and demographic profile of Eeyouch along with other determinants of their health in order to track the health status of the population over time, and to identify priority health issues.

Why this program?

Every public health program or intervention has two goals: to improve the population's health and to decrease health inequalities within the population. To put these goals into action, public health carries out activities to set priorities, plan programs, develop services, and to identify and implement interventions. Each of these activities requires, updated and valid information on the main health issues facing the population as a whole, and specific profiles of vulnerable groups within the population. It is public health surveillance which provides this necessary information which allows for decision making regarding programs, services and interventions.

Short description of program

A surveillance system includes the capacity to collect data, analyse it, and disseminate the information obtained in a timely manner to the general population, to community partners, and to other Cree Health Board teams including the Cree public health programs that are responsible for ensuring the region has effective prevention and health protection activities. Ongoing surveillance of the health status of the Eeyouch and of those underlying factors which largely determine the population's health, are carried out in order to:

1. Obtain an overall picture of the health status of the population.
2. Monitor trends and temporal and spatial variations.
3. Detect emerging problems.
4. Identify major problems
5. Develop prospective scenarios of the health status of the population
6. Monitor the development within the population of certain specific health problems and of their determinants

The Eeyou territory (Region 18 MSSSQ) present particular challenges in implementing common surveillance programs. Indeed, the region is unique in its geographical, spatial, historical, economic, social and cultural features, and the health determinants listed in Québec’s Common Surveillance Plan are not necessarily relevant or appropriate for this relatively small population. Identifying and determining the feasibility of health indicators to accurately portray the health of Eeyouch depends on the availability of sources of quality data, the capacity to access such sources, and the statistical validity of using them.

Public Health Surveillance activities are by nature transversal within the entire health sector. Some activities are under the exclusive mandate of the Surveillance Team such as the Health Survey Program, cancer surveillance, injuries surveillance, etc. Other health surveillance is carried out jointly with other Public Health Teams. such as the Cree Diabetes Information system with the Chishaayiyuu team or the Notifiable Diseases Surveillance Programs for Infectious diseases which is carried out in conjunction with the Uschiniichisuu Team.

Targeted clientele

The program is intended for the general population, community partners, public health workers, epidemiologists, laboratory workers, public health and healthcare directors and managers.

Who delivers the program?

The service is part of the SERC Team's mandate which also includes responsibility for evaluation, research, public health communications, clinical preventive practices, and public health competencies development.

Enquiries about the program should be directed:

Marcellin Gangbè
203A Mistissini Blvd
Mistissini, Quebec
G0W 1C0
418-923-3355 ext 42353
cell: 514-220-6055
mgangbe@ssss.gouv.qc.ca