Message from the Medical Officer of Health
Over the course of the 20 century our life expectancy increased by thirty years, mostly due to improvements in general living conditions and to public health measures. We still work with these basic measures today: safeguarding drinking water and food, promoting infection control practices, promoting sexual, reproductive and child health, responding to environmental health hazards and to outbreaks of disease, and providing vaccines. The health gains from these measures are precious and require our ongoing vigilance. We have seen the potential for new public health threats: concerns for bioterrorism and anthrax late last year, and the discovery of West Nile Virus in birds in our district this year (with human cases in southwestern Ontario). Public health issues of old can return, as has been the case regarding drinking water safety.
We look to the future, and work towards life expectancy that may be gained with improvements in personal lifestyles, and the optimal support of children. This includes our activities to reduce smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, such as the promotion of strong tobacco bylaws.
In June we again achieved the highest accreditation award of four years for the third time. The citizens of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark deserve excellent public health services, which we are committed to provide.
The staff of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and the members of the Board of Health wish you, one and all, a wonderful holiday season and good health throughout the New Year.
Dr. Charles Gardner