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International component

As well as the work in Canada, this project has an international dimension in that related work is going on simultaneously in two other countries.

Finland 

In Finland, researcher Dr. Maritta Valimaki of the University of Tampere, is conducting research into differences in health between the employed and unemployed in one northern district (Salla), very near the Russian border, whose economy has also depended on natural resources. It shares the high unemployment of much of rural Newfoundland, and it is hoped that tourism will be the solution to this problem. Officials have promised co-operation and work is progressing well - a graduate student has been recruited, and data collection will start in February (to be completed in May 2003).

This project studies communal workers' wellbeing and issues related to their work in Salla Municipality. Salla is a small town in Lappland, within the Arctic Circle.

In Nov. 2002, Lan Gien, the program Principal Investigator, visited Salla with Dr. Valimaki and received a warm welcome from the municipal leaders and staff. They were very enthusiastic about the project and promised great support for Maritta and her graduate student to conduct the research.

Preliminary conclusions from the Salla study were presented to the study team at Memorial University by Dr. Valimaki and her colleagues at a recent symposium.

Dr. Valimaki and her colleagues presented preliminary findings from the Finland study of workers' well being in Salla municipality. The study found that workers were competent at and happy with their jobs and showed good mental well-being. The presentation was enlivened by the presence of Dr. Kirsi Markula, a resident and town councillor of Salla, who talked about the town and showed slides of Lappland.

The Salla study is not funded by the NRDH study.


Vietnam

Other international work is being done in Vietnam by Dr. Dang Phuong  Kiet and his team, who have collaborated with Memorial’s School of Nursing in previous projects.

Dr. Kiet reports that they have completed 200 interviews in each of two areas—one affected by deforestation and a comparable, unaffected area—and completed three focus groups. Three more focus groups are to be conducted, data analysis is underway, and he will be ready to report this summer.

Symposium in Vietnam: Sharing discussion of research findings among researchers, community representatives and government officials - Sept. 2003


The Viet Nam project, under the direction of Dr. Dang P. Kiet, studies the effects of deforestation upon community health in the village of Bach Luu in the rural north of the country; another village, unaffected by deforestation, was used to compare. This work is substantially completed and Dr. Kiet recently gave a presentation of his findings to the study team at Memorial University.

The findings of the study are that, by all indexes, health, well-being and social life were worse in the community affected by resource depletion than in the control community.

The Viet Nam project was funded as part of the NRDH study.

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