CANHelp Working Group
The Canadian North Helicobacter pylori (CANHelp) Working Group is a multidisciplinary, intersectoral team that aims to address community concerns about health risks from Helicobacter pylori infection. When this bacterial infection persists, it causes chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, which leads to diseases of the stomach and duodenum, including peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. Northern Canadian communities suffer from a disproportionately high frequency of the infection and related diseases. Concerns of affected communities and their health care providers led to the establishment of the CANHelp Working Group, formed by academic researchers at the University of Alberta with health officials and community leaders in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The CANHelp Working Group conducts ongoing projects in Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk and Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, and Old Crow, Yukon Territory. Goals include to: 1) Conduct community-based research projects to obtain local information on the burden of disease from H. pylori infection, risk factors for H. pylori-associated diseases, and factors that influence successful treatment to eliminate this infection; 2) Develop knowledge exchange strategies that help community members understand H. pylori health risks as well as currently available solutions and unsolved challenges for reducing these health risks; and 3) Implement knowledge exchange activities with health care practitioners and decision makers to assess current H. pylori management and develop new policies using evidence from our research.