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Injury and Prevention

Some 2000 Canadians between the ages of one and 19 are killed each year because of injury, and over 85 000 are hospitalized. With the control of infectious diseases, injury has become the leading cause of death and disability in Canadian children and youth.

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Smallpox in Canada

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the variola virus. The disease arrived in what is now Canada with French settlers in the early 17th century. Indigenous people had no immunity to smallpox, resulting in devastating infection and death rates. In 1768, arm-to-arm inoculation became more widely practised in North America. By 1800, advances in vaccination helped control the spread of smallpox. Public health efforts also reduced rates of infection. In the 20th century, Canadian scientists helped the World Health Organization eradicate smallpox. Eradication was achieved in 1979, but virus stocks still exist for research and safety reasons.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Macleans

Canadian Health Worsening

Sarah Hamid considered herself a "happy-go-lucky person." A straight-A student with a loving family and a scholarship at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., she loved the campus clubs and thrived on sports.

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Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.

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BSE-Infected Cow Found in Alberta

DANNY ROSEHILL remembers well the Tuesday morning in September when he watched the terrorist attacks on New York City while the weekly sale at his cattle auction house in Olds, Alta., continued apace. "The towers were brought down, 3,000 people killed, and yet the sale went on," says Rosehill.

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Arthritis

The word "arthritis "comes from the Greek arthron"joint" and itis "inflammation".

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Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is a national, nonprofit, voluntary health agency established 15 July 1960. Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that occurs when a child inherits 2 genes for the condition, one from each parent.

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Epidemics in Canada

An epidemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads rapidly throughout a community at a particular time. Several epidemics have occurred over the course of Canadian history, the most disastrous being those which affected Indigenous peoples following the arrival of Europeans.

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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts the body’s central nervous system. As of September 2020 an estimated 2.8 million people are living with MS worldwide. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world with over 90,000 Canadians living with the disease. There is no known cure for MS, but treatments can help address symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

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Heart Disease

In industrial countries more people die from diseases of the heart and blood vessels than from any other single cause.

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Tommy Douglas and Eugenics

Tommy Douglas — the father of socialized medicine in Canada and one of the country’s most beloved figures — once supported eugenic policies. In 1933, he received a Master of Arts in sociology from McMaster University for his thesis, “The Problems of the Subnormal Family.” In the thesis, Douglas recommended several eugenic policies, including the sterilization of “mental defectives and those incurably diseased.” His ideas were not unique, as two Canadian provinces (and 32 American states) passed sexual-sterilization legislation in the 1920s and 1930s. However, by the time Douglas became premier of Saskatchewan in 1944, he had abandoned his support for eugenic policies. When Douglas received two reports that recommended legalizing sexual sterilization in the province, he rejected the idea.

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Vaccination and Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada

Vaccination is the introduction of a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a disease. Vaccine hesitancy is the refusal or delayed acceptance of vaccination due to fears or anxiety about vaccines. It includes a range of concerns such as uncertainty about vaccines’ contents and their safety and the belief that vaccines are responsible for causing other medical conditions (e.g., autism). Other factors include opposition to state control and infringement on individual liberty, suspicions about the pharmaceutical industry and a declining faith in science and medicine. In Canada, as in other wealthy countries, vaccine hesitancy has increased in recent years.

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Hearing Loss

Any person living in Canada, regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, geographic location, occupation, educational background or socio-economic status, can experience hearing loss.

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Disease

In recent years genetic diseases have become better understood since they are dependent on a fault in the normal gene sequence that controls body activities.