The IHACC project was recently profiled in a Nunatsiaq Online article by Samantha Dawson. Read the full article on the Nunatsiaq Online website.
Iqaluit project eyes link between tummy troubles-climate change
"We’re expecting to see an increase in contaminated drinking water"
Climate change, which affects food security, may also lead to an increase in stomach illnesses among Inuit.
That’s according to the “Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change” project.
This project sent researchers in to Iqaluit to conduct 20-minute interviews with Inuit in Iqaluit about what they eat, whether they hunt, and whether they have stomach problems, such as vomiting or diarrhea, which are among symptoms of acute gastrointestinal illness.
To reach more people, interviewers have gone door-to-door to about 500 homes in Iqaluit.
And they also held a char and bannock feast at the Anglican Parish Hall on March 21.
Bacteria, parasites and viruses carried by contaminated water or by person-to-person contact can cause stomach illness, said Sherilee Harper, a lead researcher on the project.
Although the risk factors vary, the research team has identified some specific risk factors in Iqaluit.
While Harper did not offer any specific details about what these are, high rates of stomach illness are found in aboriginal communities in general, and in particularly Inuit communities, she said.
The incentive to start the study in Nunavut was based on interest from “government stakeholders in Iqaluit,” past research from Nunatsiavut, and high rates of stomach illness in the Arctic, she said.