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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 16-31; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100016

Applying an Ecohealth Perspective in a State of the Environment Report: Experiences of a Local Public Health Unit in Canada

1
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
2
Grey Bruce Health Unit, 101 17th St E, Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 0A5, Canada
3
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College St, Toronto, Ontario M5T 3M7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 10 November 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
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Abstract

We applied an Ecohealth perspective into a State of the Environment report for Grey Bruce Health Unit and summarized environmental and health data relevant for public health practice. We aimed for comprehensiveness in our data compilation, including: standard media categories (e.g., air, water, land); and ecological indicators (e.g., vectors, forests, wetlands). Data sources included both primary (collected by an organization) and secondary (assembled by others). We organized indicators with the Driving forces-Pressure-State-Exposure-Effect-Action (DPSEEA) framework created by the World Health Organization. Indicators of air, water and land quality generally appeared to point towards a healthy state. Vector-borne diseases remained low. Forests and wetlands appeared to be in good condition, however more monitoring data was needed to determine trends in their ecological indicators. Data were not available on biodiversity and fish conditions. The results of our application of the DPSEEA framework suggest that routinely collected environmental and health data can be structured into the framework, though challenges arose due to gaps in data availability, particularly for social and gender analyses. Ecohealth approaches had legitimacy with broader healthy community partners but applying such approaches was a complex undertaking. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ecohealth; environmental indicators; public health; state of the environment Ecohealth; environmental indicators; public health; state of the environment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lam, S.; Leffley, A.; Cole, D.C. Applying an Ecohealth Perspective in a State of the Environment Report: Experiences of a Local Public Health Unit in Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 16-31.

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