Nunavik to launch second edition of major health survey
“This survey is for the Inuit and we are here to listen to their needs”
The second Qanuippitaa Inuit health survey is underway in Nunavik.
Reseachers and representatives from the region’s health and social services met in Kuujjuaq Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 to kick start the 2016 edition of the survey, which will provide updated baseline information on the health of Nunavimmiut.
The survey is a follow up to the 2004 Qanuippitaa (How are we?) health survey, the most extensive health survey ever done in Nunavik.
But 11 years later, health officials realized a follow-up was needed.
“It is a priority for our board of directors to gather more data on our communities, in particular concerning youth, to be able to assess our status in order to support development of resources and services,” said Minnie Grey, executive director of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services in a Feb. 2 release.
Researchers conducted the 2004 Qaniuppitaa survey from aboard the research icebreaker Amundsen.
Health officials in Nunavut, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit region reproduced that idea in 2007, when they launched the separate, but similarly named Qaniuppitali Inuit health survey, also from aboard the Amundsen and funded by money from Canada’s International Polar Year program.
But for 2016, it’s not clear what transportation method Nunavik researchers will use to do their follow-up survey.
“Carrying out this important initiative relies on securing the necessary funding; the NRBHSS has already allocated some funding but is still awaiting commitment from other partners and government bodies,” the health board said.
But this survey does plan to look at health conditions and the determinants of health among Nunavik adults, by interviewing about 1,000 randomly-selected individuals across the region over the next two years.
The 2016 edition of the survey will include a section on youth as well as community well-being, the NRBHSS said, with data collection planned for the fall of 2016.
“It is of utmost importance for us to have local healthy survey ambassadors who will guide us and express their opinions through the whole process.” said Dr. Serge Déry, Nunavik’s director of public health.
“This survey is for the Inuit and we are here to listen to their needs and what they want out of this survey.”
The well-known Laval university researcher Dr. Eric Dewailly, who led the 2004 Qanuippitaa health survey in Nunavik, was meant to lead the 2016 Qanuippitaa survey.
But the survey’s launch was delayed following Dewailly’s accidental death earlier this year.