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New West study aims for earlier diagnoses of painful period condition – The Record (New Westminster)

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The New Westminster school district is yet again leading the way to destigmatize menstruation.

Starting in January, 100 New Westminster Secondary School students will learn, as part of a study, about a medical condition that causes painful periods.

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Researchers hope the pilot program will improve students’ knowledge and increase early diagnoses of the condition.

Endometriosis causes tissue normally found inside the uterus to grow outside the uterus, such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. This can cause little to no symptoms, or it can cause debilitating pain in the pelvic area during menstruation.

But Catherine Allaire, medical director of the Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis at B.C. Women’s Hospital, said there’s a serious gap in diagnoses of endometriosis. Allaire said it’s estimated to take eight years from the start of symptoms to reach a diagnosis.

Part of the issue is that the typical diagnosis requires a laparoscopy, a surgical procedure – though Allaire said there’s a movement in Canada and elsewhere toward treating the symptoms without necessarily requiring the procedure.

But another part of the issue, Allaire said, is the lack of popular knowledge about the issue and the general discomfort of Canadians in discussing menstruation – despite the fact that it affects roughly 10% of women and girls of reproductive age.

“If you never talk about something, you don’t know what’s abnormal,” Allaire said. “It’s 50% of the world that menstruates, so I’m not sure why it’s still such a difficult thing to discuss or talk about as if it’s some kind of dirty, hidden thing.”

But if endometriosis affects so many people, why the lack of public knowledge and discussion? In large part, it’s a mix of historical downplaying of women’s pain and inadequate research on and funding for women’s sexual health, Allaire said.

“It’s just a systemic issue,” she said. “There’s a huge gender bias in terms of where research money is going. It’s taken a long time to get to this, but it’s finally happening.”

Allaire’s pilot program is building on a 2017 study in New Zealand that showed a similar program led to more women and girls seeking medical help for the condition at a younger age.

“We thought this would be something worthwhile to introduce into high schools in British Columbia,” Allaire said.

“At the time we were looking for a partner, [the New West school district] announced that they would be offering free menstrual products in the high school. … We thought, ‘Wow, there’s a school board that’s open-minded and willing to discuss menstruation.”

The New West school district was the first in B.C. to approve paying for free menstrual product dispensers in their schools.

In the pilot, half of the 100 boys and girls will take a one-hour course on endometriosis. They will take questionnaires, including a six-week follow-up, to determine retention of the knowledge. After that, the other half will take the questionnaire before taking the course to compare results.

Allaire said the program is expected to bring results by April, and potentially be published by the summer, depending on how the publication process goes.

“The goal is to basically arm patients and advocates and school educators and stuff with data that supports such an educational intervention and then advocate for other school boards and even ministries of education … about putting this as a standard in the curriculum,” Allaire said.

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Nova Scotia awards contract for wood heat projects to N.S., P.E.I. companies – Cape Breton Post

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Fossil fuel heating systems at six sites in Nova Scotia are to be converted to locally sourced wood chip boilers over the next several months.

An announcement from the province on Monday said the contracts to design, build and operate boilers include agreements to source wood chips from private woodlots and sawmills.

The contracts were awarded to Mira Forestry Development of Albert Bridge to convert Memorial High School in Sydney Mines and Riverview High School in Sydney. Wood4heating Canada of Charlottetown will convert Perennia Park Atlantic Centre for Agri-Innovation in Bible Hill and Hants East Rural High School in Milford.  Spec Resources in Church Point was awarded the contract for NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown, and ACFOR Energy of Cocagne, N.B. will convert Bridgewater Provincial Court.

Additional sites for expansion of the program are being assessed. 

At Perennia Park, a district heating network will be formed and three buildings will be heated by the new boiler. Bridgewater provincial court will be converted to a two-building district heating network that will also include the NSCC Lunenburg campus.

“These projects help us progress towards a greener economy and reduce the carbon footprint of government buildings by replacing fossil fuels with a renewable resource,” Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin said in a release. “Using lower grade wood for heat will create new and stable markets for Nova Scotia’s wood chips and opportunities for private woodlot owners and sawmills to sell lower grade wood locally.”

Each wood heat system will be in an exterior structure built so that it can be expanded.  The six sites are forecast to use between 2,000-2,500 tonnes of wood chips.

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Contracts awarded for wood heat projects – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Fossil fuel heating systems at six sites in Nova Scotia are to be converted to locally sourced wood chip boilers over the next several months.

An announcement from the province on Monday said the contracts to design, build and operate boilers include agreements to source wood chips from private woodlots and sawmills.

The contracts were awarded to Mira Forestry Development of Albert Bridge to convert Memorial High School in Sydney Mines and Riverview High School in Sydney. Wood4heating Canada of Charlottetown will convert Perennia Park Atlantic Centre for Agri-Innovation in Bible Hill and Hants East Rural High School in Milford.  Spec Resources in Church Point was awarded the contract for NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown, and ACFOR Energy of Cocagne, N.B. will convert Bridgewater Provincial Court.

Additional sites for expansion of the program are being assessed. 

At Perennia Park, a district heating network will be formed and three buildings will be heated by the new boiler. Bridgewater provincial court will be converted to a two-building district heating network that will also include the NSCC Lunenburg campus.

“These projects help us progress towards a greener economy and reduce the carbon footprint of government buildings by replacing fossil fuels with a renewable resource,” Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin said in a release. “Using lower grade wood for heat will create new and stable markets for Nova Scotia’s wood chips and opportunities for private woodlot owners and sawmills to sell lower grade wood locally.”

Each wood heat system will be in an exterior structure built so that it can be expanded.  The six sites are forecast to use between 2,000-2,500 tonnes of wood chips.

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Interactive map shows neighbourhoods with higher and lower rates of COVID-19 – Ottawa Citizen

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The map provides numbers as well as rates per 100,000 people, and also shows significant outbreaks at long-term care homes and retirement homes.

Among the neighbourhoods with the highest cumulative number of cases: Ledbury-Herongate-Ridgemont (123 cases); Overbrook-McArthur (73 cases); Old Barrhaven East (54 cases); Bayshore-Belltown (48 cases); Portobello South (42 cases) and Centretown (40 cases).

The map shows the neighbourhoods where people with confirmed COVID-19 live, and does not necessarily reflect when they were infected. Exposure to COVID-19 can occur anywhere people congregate, such as workplaces or services open to the public.

There are several factors that may be driving the observed rates of COVID-19 in Ottawa neighbourhoods. For instance, the population differences between urban and rural neighbourhoods affects the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people because rural neighbourhoods have smaller populations making rates more sensitive to changes. The Marlborough neighbourhood in the rural south of the city, for example, had seven confirmed cases — but this translates to 363.98 per 100,000 people.

Testing rates have also not been uniform across the city and in some cases certain groups have been prioritized.

Meanwhile, factors such as income can have an effect on disease prevalence. A study released in May by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that those tested, and those confirmed positive, were more likely to live in marginalized neighbourhoods.

The ICES researchers found that those confirmed positive for COVID-19 were also more likely to live in neighbourhoods with a relatively greater concentration of immigrants and visible minorities.

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study’s interactive map is updated monthly and reflects the number and rate of Ottawa residents with confirmed COVID-19. Currently illustrating cases up to Aug 31, 2020.

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