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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 49

Towards Unity for Health: Lessons for Health Development in Canada

Université de Sherbrooke, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sherbrooke, Que., Canada

Correspondence Address:
N Bolduc
3001, 12th avenue N, Sherbrooke, Que. Canada J1H-5N4
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18058683

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Introduction: The Sherbrooke-Estrie integrated cardiovascular health program (SEICHP) was developed in the Canadian province of Quebec. It was among the 12 field projects selected in 2001 around the world by the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement the TUFH (Towards Unity for Health) strategy as a way to improve health development responding to people's needs through integration of health services and partnership among key stakeholders. SEICHP tailored and applied the TUFH approach. It developed comprehensive and integrated services for people suffering or being at risk of cardiovascular problems in its region of influence. It emphasized complementarity, efficiency of resource use, interprofessional collaboration and partnership. In this, SEICHP complied with TUFH criteria. Information on how it adapted and applied these with relative success is reported. Lessons for health development: Even though difficulties in evaluation represent a limitation, major lessons learned linked to TUFH criteria include: the necessity to involve the public health and individual health people at all phases of program development and implementation, including the identification of information to be collected; an emphasis on integration brings health professionals to realize the importance of interdisciplinary work and academic institutions to modify their educational programs; restraining and supporting factors to partnership must be considered purposefully to optimize the partnership process; and optimal assessment of impact is difficult to attain. Conclusion: TUFH gave SEICHP a comprehensive conceptual framework for health development to work with. It had a highly significant impact on its development and provides direction for its future actions.

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