Indigenous virtual conference to highlight lessons learned from COVID-19 to fight viral hepatitis – News


The committee had planned to hold its third world congress in Saskatoon in September 2020. This event was postponed to June 2022 due to the pandemic. In the meantime, the committee is hosting its second online mini-conference on November 23. The first virtual conference took place in November 2020 and attracted over 125 participants from 10 countries.

Indigenous health care experts, Elders and people with lived experience, as well as non-Indigenous allies, will explain how they are using COVID-19 models to refocus on hepatitis testing, treatment and care viral.

Dr. Alexandra King, Cameco President of Indigenous Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and chair of the committee, said Indigenous sovereignty means communities take control of their health, resulting in innovative responses to hepatitis resulting from this pandemic.

“COVID-19 has demanded considerable attention from community leaders and our health system, but as more people are vaccinated, now is the time to tackle viral hepatitis, taking what has been learned from the pandemic, such as mass testing and mass vaccination, ”King said. noted.

Many indigenous communities have much higher than average rates of viral hepatitis and less than adequate health care, often due to the lasting and continuing impacts of colonialism, inadequate access to vaccination and treatment, and inadequacies in the delivery of culturally appropriate and culturally appropriate health care. Aboriginal care.

For example, self-identified people in Canada are seven times more likely to contract hepatitis C than non-Indigenous people. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia are about four times more likely to contract hepatitis B, and Maori and Pasifika have twice the national rates of hepatitis B. Indigenous communities must prevent both diseases, by providing well-administered hepatitis vaccination programs while limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“We need to continue to aggressively test and treat viral hepatitis, using COVID-19 approaches. This mini-conference will be a great opportunity for us to share our successes and learn from each other, ”King said.

The mini-conference will feature a keynote presentation by Métis health researcher and activist Carrielynn Lund of Communities, Alliances & Networks (CAAN), who will speak about the work being done in Indigenous languages ​​to address hepatitis C and HIV in communities.

Indigenous hepatitis experts will discuss how Indigenous communities around the world are dealing with COVID-19 while continuing to fight viral hepatitis. Indigenous peoples who have lived through hepatitis will share their own experiences of the pandemic and there will be welcoming messages from a Cree Elder and King, President of the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis. There will also be cultural performances by indigenous artists from around the world. Participants from all over the world will join the mini conference.

The mini online conference is free and open to anyone interested. You will find more information and registration on https://wipcvh.org/virtual-mini-conference/.