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H1N1 in Retrospect: A Review of Risk Factors and Policy Recommendations

Author(s): Mark Mousseau

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: H1N1 | influenza | infectious disease | pandemic | Indigenous populations

The H1N1 pandemic of 2009 devastated Indigenous communities worldwide. In order to explain infection patterns and prevent repeating history in future pandemics, associations with infection were investigated. This revealed that the vulnerability of Indigenous communities to infection was associated with poor performance on measurements of social determinants of health. Several policy recommendations pertaining to non-pharmaceutical interventions, prioritization of scarce health care resources, and pandemic planning are made to improve this situation. The best approach would be to empower Indigenous communities to take control over and improve local conditions. Success of such strategies in the battle against other Indigenous health issues suggests that these interventions would be invaluable against emerging infectious disease.
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