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in Canadian Federal Penitentiaries 2005-2006

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Foreword – Public Health Branch

This report provides infectious disease surveillance data for 2005–2006 among inmates in Canadian federal penitentiaries. In this report, we have updated the data presented in our last report Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control in Canadian Federal Penitentiaries 2002-2004.

It is well established that inmates are at increased risk of infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C (HCV), and tuberculosis (TB), due to the social and behavioural risk characteristics that define this population before they even enter the prison gates. It is also clear that prisons are excellent points of contact to deliver public health programs to a population otherwise hard to reach and vulnerable to infection and poor health. Therefore the prevention and control of infectious diseases is a major objective of CSC Health Services.

Infectious disease surveillance is largely conducted via the CSC Infectious Disease Surveillance System (IDSS). Starting in February 2005, CSC implemented an enhanced screening program for bloodborne and sexually transmitted infections (BBSTI) among inmates. This system allows line-listed data on testing history, risk factors, and test results. Along with our ongoing TB screening program, these data are available from our web-enabled Infectious Disease Surveillance System, (Web-IDSS) which provides more detailed information on screening, testing, and cases that supplements the data from the aggregate system.

The data presented in this report are the result of combined efforts of the institutional health services front-line nursing staff that on a daily basis provide infectious disease screening, counselling, advice, teaching, and treatment. Similarly, the occupational health nurses in the Public Health and Occupational Safety Program at Health Canada work with CSC Workplace Wellbeing to provide testing and screening for tuberculosis to all of our staff. We would like to recognize the ongoing collaboration between CSC and the PHAC in producing this report.


Public Health Branch
Health Services Sector
Correctional Service of Canada


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