Theme: Models of Care Year: 2019
Background: Obedjiwan is a geographically isolated Atikamekw community in Quebec, Canada. The
Band Council is proactive with respect to health care in its community, including drug addiction. In
2017, collaboration was established between the Centre de santé d’Opitciwan (CSO) and the
Coopérative de solidarité SABSA, with the aim of providing this community with prevention,
screening, treatment and follow-up services for people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The
objectives are to sensitize the community to HCV and prevent its transmission, to identify people at
risk, to facilitate access to HCV treatment directly in the community (treat where they are), and to
provide nursing, psychosocial and medical follow-up, as well as to prevent the risk of reinfection.
Description of model of care/intervention: The CSO identifies people at risk of HCV infections
through the deployment of a street worker and public health nurses. During its quarterly visits to the
CSO, Coopérative de solidarité SABSA offers the services of a nurse practitioner specialized in HCV,
to train local health care providers on screening tools for sexually transmitted and blood borne
infections (STBBI), including HCV, and provides fibrosis assessment (Transient Elastography) for the
measurement of liver fibrosis. A gastroenterologist comes to the community to to initiate HCV
Effectiveness: From April to October 2018, 24 HCV positive patients were linked to care and started
treatment. Updated numbers and sustained virologic response (SVR) results will be presented.
Conclusion and next steps: This project results from collaboration between the community of
Opitciwan and the SABSA Solidarity Cooperative. The community supports SABSA’s continuous effort
to provide the community of Opitciwan tools required for full autonomy. Once achieved, it will
enable them to become a reference in the prevention and treatment of STBBIs, and to transfer their
knowledge to neighboring indigenous communities facing similar issues.
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