Project Summary

Health inequities continue to exist between Inuit and non-Indigenous Canadians. This is unacceptable. Tuberculosis (TB) and infant mortality are two extreme examples: Nunavut’s 85% Inuit population has the highest rates of both in Canada. We need to urgently transform the way healthcare is delivered to close these health gaps. This involves shifting from a ‘top down’ model of care that relies heavily on nurses from the South to a ‘bottom-up’ community-based model of care.

This project aims to rebuild community capacity in Nunavut to protect and promote their own health and wellness. We will develop a Community Public Health Aide Training Lab (CPHA Training Lab) to support prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB and reduce infant mortality. The CPHA Training Lab will implement on-the-job training and dedicated workshops to equip community members with the skills and knowledge to be key actors in ensuring the health of their communities. To promote peer-to-peer learning, trained CPHAs will be invited to return to the CPHA Training Lab as facilitators and in-community trainers.

The Inuit-specific curriculum will bring Inuit knowledge and values to the forefront. Training will involve innovative strategies as well as more traditional activities, such as the use of storytelling and cultural events as tools for health promotion.

Although the initial focus will be on TB and Maternal-Child Health, the model can later be expanded to include other health issues that are deemed important by Inuit communities themselves. It could also be expanded beyond Nunavut and benefit the whole Canadian Arctic.

Out on the sea ice, Qikiqtarjuaq. May 2018

Out on the sea ice, Qikiqtarjuaq. May 2018

Project Goal

An Inuit-specific, team- and community-based model for health care delivery is adopted in Nunavut.

Project Objective

Engage communities to co-create a team-based model of care for community-based tuberculosis management and maternal-child health, including health promotion.

Dogs in the snow, Qikiqtarjuaq. May 2018

Dogs in the snow, Qikiqtarjuaq. May 2018

Iceberg, Qikiqtarjuaq. May 2018

Iceberg, Qikiqtarjuaq. May 2018

Project Activities

  1. Carry out on-the-job task sharing training and develop the local public health team (LPHT) approach[1] in two communities

  2. Develop and implement a curriculum for Community Public Health Aide (CPHA)[2] Workshops

  3. Expand the use of electronic health technology (eHealth) to support CPHAs and improve the efficiency of health care delivery, including at Health Centre level

[1] Local public health teams (LPHT) are composed of Community Public Health Aides (CPHA), a Community Health Representative, a Public/Community Health Nurse, a Social Worker and a Community Wellness Coordinator.

[2] The term ‘Community Public Health Aide’ includes TB DOTS Workers, TB Assistants and Public Health Assistants.