Fed­eral fund­ing to fight blood-borne pathogens

Ally Cen­tre of Cape Bre­ton re­ceives sup­port for re­lated projects

Cape Breton Post - - Northside / Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cbp­sot.com

The fed­eral govern­ment will pro­vide $300,000 over two years to the Ally Cen­tre of Cape Bre­ton to re­duce the risk of blood­borne in­fec­tions among peo­ple who share drug-use equip­ment.

Sydney-Vic­to­ria MP Mark Eyk­ing made the an­nounce­ment Fri­day on be­half of the fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Ginette Petit­pas Tay­lor.

The project that is be­ing funded will help with the high rates of hep­ati­tis C and HIV. The fund­ing will sup­port front-line in­ter­ven­tions and ca­pac­ity-build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion re­sources for peo­ple who use drugs, peer-based out­reach ser­vices, and train­ing for health providers.

The Ally Cen­tre of Cape Bre­ton projects will sup­port ini­tia­tives for peer ed­u­ca­tion and pro­mot­ing harm re­duc­tion.

“We have hired two peers, which are re­spon­si­ble for ed­u­ca­tion around the pre­ven­tion of blood-borne pathogens and other harms as­so­ci­ated with sub­stance use dis­or­der and for link­ing peo­ple with other ser­vices such as health care and ad­dic­tions treat­ment,” Chris­tine Porter, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ally Cen­tre of Cape Bre­ton, said in a news re­lease. “We have also hired 10 peers to pick up im­prop­erly dis­carded sy­ringes in five CBRM com­mu­ni­ties and to link peo­ple to the Ally Cen­tre’s ser­vices three days a month.”

The fund­ing al­lows the cen­tre to ex­pand its hours of op­er­a­tion to 8 p.m. daily, seven days a week.

“We are cer­tain that this will as­sist us in our ef­forts to im­prove the health and safety of our com­mu­ni­ties,” Porter said.

Sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted and blood-borne in­fec­tions, in­clud­ing hep­ati­tis C and HIV, are largely pre­ventable. How­ever, there are com­mu­ni­ties in Canada that have high rates of in­fec­tion, which is a sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic health con­cern. Harm re­duc­tion is a key pil­lar in Canada’s drug strat­egy.

“Com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, like the Ally Cen­tre, do im­por­tant work to re­duce hep­ati­tis C and HIV in­fec­tions among peo­ple who share drug-use equip­ment,” Eyk­ing said.

The Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada is in­vest­ing $8.5 mil­lion to sup­port 28 projects across the coun­try. This is part of the Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada’s in­vest­ment of $30 mil­lion over five years through the Harm Re­duc­tion Fund.

In 2016, peo­ple who in­jected drugs ac­counted for 14.3 per cent of re­ported new HIV cases in Canada.

An open call for pro­pos­als for fund­ing un­der the Harm Re­duc­tion Fund was launched in May 2018. Ad­di­tional projects un­der phase two of the pro­gram will be an­nounced in the com­ing months.



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