Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos today announced a $20 million investment to support a pan-Canadian Research Network into Long COVID.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is providing the funds.
Dr. Angela Cheung, a clinician and researcher at University Health Network and the University of Toronto, will lead what is called Long COVID Web.
Dr. Adeera Levin, Professor of Medicine, Head, Division of Nephrology at the University of British Columbia and Consultant nephrologist at Providence Health Care/St. Paul’s Hospital, will co-lead the network with Dr. Simon Décary at the Université de Sherbrooke and Dr. Piush Mandhane at the University of Alberta.
Other Providence Health Care researchers are members of the Long COVID Web team too, including Dr. Darryl Knight, President, Providence Research and Associate Dean of Research at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine.
Also announced today was a $9 million investment from the Public Health Agency of Canada to McMaster University to fund the development of clinical practice guidelines on PCC.
“For many, COVID-19 is not something that lasts a few days,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in a news release. “Its effects may stay long after the initial illness, making day-to-day living difficult. Today’s announcement of the Long COVID Web offers hope —and real solutions— to those living with post COVID-19 condition. The development of new clinical practice guidelines will help to support health care workers and people in Canada in preventing, managing and recovering from post COVID-19 condition. Over these next few years, I am eager to see what we learn about this condition and how we treat it.”
Researchers, patients, Indigenous populations and underserved communities to have voice
Together with her co-leads, Dr. Cheung will work with more than 250 researchers and representatives from people with lived experiences, Indigenous populations and underserved communities across the country to develop accurate diagnostics, treatments, and rehabilitation strategies for all forms of post COVID-19 condition. Their work will produce evidence-based and standardized clinical practices aimed at real and lasting improvements in the lives of those with post COVID-19 condition.
Reducing socioeconomic impact of long COVID
Swift knowledge mobilization of the network’s findings will support the development of integrated care models and allow the design of new policies and programs to reduce the socioeconomic impact of this disability. The funding for Long COVID Web is provided by the Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies, housed within the CIHR.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the health and wellbeing of people in Canada through the direct impacts of acute illness as well as through overwhelming demands and disruptions to health services. Although the typical duration of acute COVID-19 illness is two to four weeks, some patients have described persistent or recurring symptoms for weeks or months after acute illness. These prolonged symptoms are commonly referred to as post COVID-19 condition (PCC), or long COVID. This is having a direct effect on the number of workers available. While scientific knowledge of this condition is growing, much is still unknown.
This story is based on the federal news release, issued today. Click here to read it.