Public Health in KitchissippiWed Jul 20, 2005 Miss Vicky
How healthy are we? The city's public health department has produced profiles of each ward. It's a pretty comprehensive portrait of the state of our neighbourhoods. They evaluate things like Food Safety, obesity and physical activity, pre-term birth, road safety and the number of respiratory outbreaks at facilities in the community. The information is used by the department and (hopefully) by councillors to inform policy and program decisions.
Here's what I learned about our ward:
Food Safety: "More than a third (112) of Kitchissippi Ward's food premises (302) prepare higher risk foods, which could, if not well monitored, lead to food borne illnesses. Legally, these premises should be inspected at least three times per year. Just over a half of these premises were inspected according to this schedule in 2003."
This is worrisome. It seems we don't have enough inspectors to comply with the Health Protection and Promotion Act, so restaurants, etc aren't getting inspected as often as they are supposed to, putting us at a higher risk for some of those nastier illnesses.
Obesity: More than half of Kitchissippi Ward adults are overweight or obese.
This does not seem to be much different from most of the other wards - except Capital, which doesn't cite obesity as a major health issue (all those jogging Glebe types, I guess). We're not as bad off as Goulbourn, where 2/3 of residents are overweight or obese.
Respiratory Outbreaks: In the 2003/2004 influenza season, there were three respiratory outbreaks in seniors' residences and long-term care facilities in the Kitchissippi Ward
Seems that where there's 'flu and seniors' or long-term care facilities, there's going to be an outbreak of some sort.
Road Safety: Just over 5 per cent of all collisions occurring in the City of Ottawa (2003) were in Kitchissippi Ward, 809 collisions
This seems pretty much in line with the other city wards. Somerset, next door, has the highest rate of collisions (9%). Rural wards have higher collision rates and account for most of the fatalities.
Other stats and info:
We have an above-average concentration of seniors((14.5%) and low-income households (17.6%) in Kitchissippi.
The Ottawa Public Health Information Line received 1,116 calls from Kitchissippi Ward residents in 2003
Public Health Nurses and family visitors responded to 252 referrals for home visiting support to families in Kitchissippi Ward with young children in the first 6 months of 2004. This program offers some services in nine different languages.
Westboro Beach was inspected 72 times during the 2003 beach season, and was closed 22 times due to poor water quality.
The city is piloting a pedometer-lending program. I've never heard of this before. Apparently you can get them at libraries and some workplaces. Who knew?
One disappointment: there is no mention of addiction or drug use in the profile. It's a pretty serious public health issue, but maybe difficult to quantify.