September 15, 2006

Health Fair for the South Asian community of York Region


NEWMARKET   On Saturday, September 16th, the South Asian Coalition of York Region (SAHCYR) will host its first Health Fair.  It will take place at Milliken Mills High School in Markham from 10:00am to 4:00pm . The Health Fair will provide South Asian families living in York Region an opportunity to gain knowledge and raise awareness about health issues, link with services and resources available in their community and enhance skills required for making healthier lifestyle choices.


The South Asian community is a diverse group consisting of a range of ethnic origins, religious affiliations and languages.  South Asian origin can include Bangladeshi, Bengali, East Indian, Goan, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Pakistani, Punjabi, Nepali, Sinhalese, Sri Lankan and Tamil.   According to Census Canada (2001), the national South Asian community is the second largest visible minority group, with a population of 912,000. 


In York Region, the South Asian community is currently the second most common visible minority group, with 12% (11,255 persons) of York Region's recent immigrant population having been born in South Asia (Census Canada 2001).


"The morning panel discussion on heart disease, cancer, and diabetes is being led by physicians from the South Asian Community.  These physicians can do much more than simply speak the same language, they can relate to and help address the health needs of such a large and diverse group," said Naushad Hirji, Chair of the South Asian Coalition of York Region.  "This discussion is just one of the many highlights of this first ever South Asian Health Fair. There is something for everyone."  


Throughout the day there will be several interactive activities for residents to participate in, including healthy South Asian cooking demonstrations, fitness activities, parenting, relationship and other health-related seminars.  There is also an opportunity to visit more than 35 community exhibitors. The event is free.


The South Asian Coalition of York Region (SAHCYR) is a not for profit group whose partners include the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Diabetes Association, Social Services Network and York Region Health Services.  Offering health fairs like this one helps the Coalition achieve its goal of providing the South Asian residents of York Region with information to promote healthy lifestyles. The SAHCYR will continue to work together to create more shared events on various health issues, with the plan to further develop partnerships within the South Asian community and increase coalition membership.


Attachment: South Asian Health Fair event program


For more information on this or other health-related topics, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit


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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit


Media Contact:         Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Health Educator-Media, York Region Health Services

                                 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Pager (905) 830-3302

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