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'Huge' life-expectancy gap between Winnipeg's neighbourhoods highlights areas in need: experts –



A “huge” gap in life expectancy and overall health between two Winnipeg neighbourhoods points to inequities in levels of income, housing, education and nutrition, experts say, and lays out priorities for future social and health-care planning.

On average, people living in Point Douglas South, which has the shortest life expectancy in the city, die 18 years before people who live in Inskter West, which has the longest, according to data revealed in the latest WRHA community health assessment.

Based on figures from 2012-2016, men in Point Douglas South lived on average to age 69, while men in Inkster West lived on average to 87. Women in Point Douglas South lived on average to age 73, while women in Inkster West lived to 90.

“Those kind of life expectancy gaps are huge,” said Randy Fransoo, a senior research scientist for the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, whose report is a primary source for the Community Health Assessment. 

According to the community assessment, Point Douglas has the highest rates of suicide, hypertension, heart and kidney disease in the city, and the lowest after-tax income, compared to River East North, which had the the highest.

Mothers living in Point Douglas were nine times more likely to receive “inadequate prenatal care” compared to mothers in River East North, despite Point Douglas having the highest birth rate. People living there were more than five times as likely to die from a preventable cause and least as likely to have post-secondary education.

“It is a huge difference. And most of that is related to the social determinants of health, as we call it,” said Fransoo.

Those include a person’s housing, income, nutrition, ethnicity and level of education, according to the medical lead for the primary healthcare (My Health) team for downtown and Point Douglas.

“In urban areas, where there are significant amounts of poverty, not only are the rates of chronic disease higher but the complications associated with those chronic diseases are much higher as well, and that would include things like diabetes, COPD, cardiovascular disease as well as mental health,” said Dr. Michael Hochman.

The report also showed the highest rates of substance use disorder and mental illness, including mood disorders and anxiety, in the inner city.

“These people tend to be quite complex and have very challenging life circumstances and they are quite sick and they typically have a number of medical co-morbidities and are on a number of medications.

“We need to work towards more proactive and preventative strategies to address those larger issues, like homelessness, in order to provide people with enhanced opportunities to take care of themselves.”

Decreased continuity of care, clinic visits

According to the community health assessment, Manitobans’ rates of visits to doctors and nurse practitioners were stable, but the continuity of care decreased across the region overall, and lower-income areas showed fewer visits to doctors and specialists.

Rates of sexually transmitted infections, including syphilis and gonorrhea, are skyrocketing, with a 394 per cent increase in syphilis and 297 per cent increase in gonorrhea between 2014 and 2018. 

“Being more flexible and opportunistic when a patient presents is critical. As well as co-ordinating services, utilizing other capacities like outreach, and going to the patient at times,” said Hochman.

“We have a social worker whose job is specifically to help people navigate support services that they’re entitled to. But if you don’t have ID, if you haven’t paid your taxes, there’s so many benefits that you can’t access.”

Overall health status, life expectancy higher

Across the region, rates of immunization were lower than national targets, including fewer than 65 per cent of children up to date with their measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations, compared to a 95 per cent national target. 

But overall life expectancy was higher across the region, as well as health status, with an increase of about a year for both women (83.4) and men (79.4), fewer hospitalizations and deaths due to heart attack and stroke and a lower mortality rate for all cancers.

“The good news is life expectancy is getting higher, the bad news is the prevalence of chronic disease is also increasing as our population continues to grow and especially to age,” said Fransoo.

“Overall the population is getting healthier. But that doesn’t mean everyone is getting healthier.”

The report is done by each of the five regional health authorities in the province every five years. Both Fransoo and Hochman hope the highlighted inequities lead to action.

“You either invest ahead of time to reduce the long-term risk of these things or you are faced with a larger hill to climb and a larger bill at the end,” said Hochman. 

Life expectancy by neighbourhood, 2012-16

Hover over neighbourhood to see data from WRHA community health assessment. Does not include sub-neighbourhoods.

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B.C. reports 342 new COVID cases, half of which are in Interior Health – Vernon Morning Star



The province is reporting 342 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday (Aug. 4), a number not seen since May.

Of the new cases, 66 are in Fraser Health, 57 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 171 are in Interior Health, 13 are in Northern Health, 32 are in Island Health and three new cases are in people who typically reside outside of Canada.

There are 1,764 active cases, of which 945 are in Interior Health. There are 55 people in hospital, 23 of whom are in intensive care or ICU.

Vaccination rates for people ages 12 and older have reached 81.5 per cent for first doses and 67.9 for second doses. There have been 6,931,815 doses of COVID vaccines administered so far.

There are five long-term care facilities currently experiencing COVID outbreaks: Holyrood Manor (Fraser Health), Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre and Brookhaven Care Centre (Interior Health).

According to the province, 78 per cent of cases are in people who are unvaccinated, while 18 per cent are in people who have had just one dose.

READ MORE: Vaccinated? You’re 10x less likely to catch and transmit COVID-19, but risk remains


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B.C. reports 342 new cases of COVID-19 over past 24 hours, with half in Interior Health – Kamloops This Week



After days of reporting elevated case counts near 200 new per day, B.C. reported 342 new cases over the past 24 hours on Wednesday.

After a dramatic decline in cases from April to July, which the provincial government attributed to vaccinations taking hold in the province, cases have once again started spiking upwards, and the Interior Health region is leading the way.

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On Wednesday, Interior Health accounted for 171 of the 342 new cases, continuing the trend of making up approximately half of all new cases in the province.

But daily case data from the BC Centre for Disease Control also shows other regions beginning to increase, including Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health.

Interior Health now has nearly 1,000 active cases.

By the numbers, Fraser Health has 388 active cases, Vancouver Coastal Health has 258, Northern Health has 52, Island Health has 109, 12 are non-residents of Canada and Interior Health has 945.

As to where cases are emerging in Interior Health, weekly case data won’t be released until later on Wednesday. Previous weeks showed cases emerging in the Central Okanagan, where an outbreak was declared by Interior Health on July 28. That outbreak only affected the Central Okanagan local health area, but other local health areas also saw modest increases in cases.

Hospitalizations and deaths, however, remain low. No deaths were reported on Wednesday and only about a dozen deaths have been reported since the beginning of July.

As of Wednesday, B.C. had 55 people in hospital and 23 of those patients in ICUs.

With vaccinations continuing, B.C. has now put two doses in 67.9 per cent of everyone eligible to receive the vaccine in this province.

The province’s one-dose rate as of Wednesday is 81.5 per cent for everyone age 12 and older.

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COVID-19 outbreaks in two Kelowna area care homes announced as case numbers rise | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source – iNFOnews



Cottonwoods in Kelowna had an outbreak.

August 04, 2021 – 2:44 PM

New case numbers of COVID-19 continue to rise across B.C., with Interior Health yet again showing the most growth.

It seems that the disease may have spread beyond the 20 to 40 age group, as well, with two new outbreaks in area care homes being reported.

Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna and Brookhaven Care Centre in West Kelowna are listed among the province’s long-term care facilities where there’s an outbreak. Brookhaven has eight cases: four residents and four staff. Cottonwoods Care Centre long-term care has three resident cases.

In the last 24 hours there have been 342 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed, for a total of 150,973 cases in the province since the start of the pandemic. Of these new cases, 171 were in Interior Health.

It now has 945 of the 1,764 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 55 people are in hospital and 23 are in intensive care. 

Fraser Health is reporting 66 new cases, for a total active caseload of 388, Vancouver Coastal Health is reporting 57 new cases for a total of 258 active cases, Northern Health had 13 new cases raising the active cases to 52 and Island Health had 32 new cases raising its active caseload to 109.

In the past 24 hours, no new deaths have been reported, for an overall total of 1,772.

Since December 2020, the Province has administered 6,931,815 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, 81.5% (3,777,588) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 67.9% (3,146,669) have received their second dose.
In addition, 82.4% (3,564,533) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 70.1% (3,033,200) have received their second dose.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021


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