The Nature Conservancy of Canada is committed to preventing Lyme disease
With summer here, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) collaborates with the Institut national de la santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) to launch a "training of trainers" project on Lyme disease and the collection of ticks in the regions of Montérégie, Eastern Townships, Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec and Outaouais.
About 15 people were trained in May to now raise awareness among workers, volunteers, visitors and hikers about the risks and preventive measures related to Lyme disease.
“NCC has a wide network of contacts, within both the general public and environmental organizations, as well as a series of natural areas covering an area of 450 square kilometres, which is approximately the size of Montreal Island. Since nearly nine out of 10 Quebecers live within 100 kilometres of an NCC-protected site, we wish to partner in helping inform and educate people on this important health area,” says Annie Ferland, NCC project manager.
In addition, this project will improve monitoring data for the disease by equipping park staff so they can collect tick samples independently and safely. The collected ticks will then be analyzed by the Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec. The results will then be incorporated into the INSPQ’s monitoring reports, which support the decision-making of public health authorities, among others.
NCC is making its properties and staff accessible to the Institut so it can better spread knowledge of Quebec’s natural environments. Together, they are carrying out training, awareness and tick collection activities between now and October, with the hope that this program can be used in more parks across Canada.
“This training could inspire other teams working in Lyme disease prevention in the areas of infectious diseases, environmental health or occupational health. In this way, we hope to optimize public health practices and contribute to the increase in tick sampling sites to better monitor the progression of this disease,” says Ariane Adam-Poupart, specialized scientific advisor at the INSPQ.
This project, initiated by the INSPQ and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund, is a response to the progression of Lyme disease in Quebec over the past several years. The increase in Lyme disease cases is partially due to climate change, since a milder climate could allow ticks to survive the winter and spread more easily. Hence, the importance of setting up innovative projects to adapt to this new reality.
For more information on Lyme disease and preventive measures, visit quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/lyme-disease/.
For more information on Lyme disease surveillance (in French only): https://www.inspq.qc.ca/zoonoses/maladie-de-lyme
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC has helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) across the country, including 111,197 acres (45,000 hectares) in Quebec.
Created in 1998, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec is a centre of expertise and reference in public health in Quebec. It supports Québec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, regional public health authorities, and health and social services institutions in carrying out their public health responsibilities, by offering its expertise and specialized laboratory and screening services. The Institute proposes strategies and intersectoral actions to improve the health and well-being of the population.
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