Alberni Valley News

Life's tough in Alberni, VIHA profile reveals

The life expectancy of Port Alberni residents is two years shorter than others in B.C., a local health area profile has revealed.

Vancouver Island medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback discussed the revelation as part of a presentation to Port Alberni city council on Monday night.

The stat is part of a package of data called the Local Health Area profile. There is one profile for each of the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s (VIHA) 14 local health areas. The profiles provide a glimpse at population, health and how often health services are used.

The statistics are amassed with information from public bodies such as BC Statistics and the Ministry of Health.

There were significantly more teen pregnancies in Alberni than in B.C. or VIHA. “Alberni is a poor measure,” Hasselback said.

Infant mortality is a challenge, Hasselback added. In 2011, the infant mortality rate in Alberni was significantly higher than the B.C. and VIHA rates.

“There’s good progress being made. There’s dedicated work being done to get service delivery to newborns,” he said.

Mortality rates have changed little year to year, Hasselback said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

NEW SERIES:  Starting with our Jan. 24 edition, the Alberni Valley News will run a five-part series on the health of our Valley.

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