Hong Kong and Canadian officials met here on Monday to probe cooperation in infectious disease control.
Hong Kong Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Carrie Yau and Canadian Minister of State (Public Health) Carolyn Bennett and her delegation exchanged views on possible areas for further collaboration in infectious disease prevention and control, including exchanges in respect of emergency preparedness plans, control measures, outbreak information and laboratory data, visits to infectious disease laboratories in Canada and mutual attachment training programs.
During the meeting, Yau outlined the measures adopted in Hong Kong in the prevention and control of Streptococcus suis, as well as the findings of the Hong Kong expert team who took part in the investigation of the Sichuan outbreak.
Yau noted that the Canadian Public Health Agency had issued a travel health advisory about the recent Streptococcus suis outbreak in the Chinese mainland, which mentioned "Streptococcus suis is found worldwide where pigs are raised, including in Canada and the United States of America."
She also briefed them on the government's measures for preventing and controlling infectious diseases including avian influenza.
Noting the two places'common experience in infectious disease control, Yau said that there had been close cooperation between Canada and Hong Kong in this area. Examples included the participation of Health Canada's expert team in the investigation works of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in Amoy Gardens in 2003 under the auspices of the World Health Organization.
"In preparing for the establishment of the Center for Health Protection, which was formally launched in June 2004, we also sent a delegation to the British Columbia's Center for Disease Control in November 2003 and had benefited a lot from the Canadian experience," Yau added.