Welcome to Island Health

On August 1 st, we launched our new public website:


and a new website for medical staff:


Our website was developed in partnership with patients and residents of Vancouver Island and the surrounding regions. It's accessible, mobile friendly and flexible to help us evolve with our communities as we work towards excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

Come visit the new sites and update your bookmarks. This www.viha.ca site will continue to be available for one month so that our staff and partners have time to update their links to the new site. You can still browse the old site but it will no longer be updated.


Safe Disposal of Needles and Other Sharps


Anyone who uses a needle to inject should dispose of it safely. However, sometimes discarded needles or other "sharps" (i.e. syringes, blades or glass) are found in public areas. Safe disposal of needles and other sharps saves others from getting hurt accidentally. Fortunately, the risk of getting infected by an accidental needle stick is rare.

How to safely dispose of a needle 

  • Don't try to replace the cap on needles
  • Don't snap, break or bend needles or other sharps
  • Pick up needle with care, and use gloves or tongs if available
  • Hold needle point away from you
  • Put needle in a metal or hard plastic container with a lid (i.e. product or drink bottle)
  • Replace cap on container securely and label it
  • Remove gloves and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water
  • Drop off the sealed container at your local public health unit or at a community drop box

Call your municipality to find out if community drop boxes are accessible in your area. Other locations for drop-off and harm reduction supply distribution can be found at towardtheheart.com.

Needle Disposal Sites - Cowichan Valley (map)
Needle Disposal Sites - Victoria (map)
Needle Disposal Sites - Nanaimo (map)

What to do if you are pricked by a needle 

Please take the following steps:

    • Allow wound to bleed freely
    • Quickly wash the injured area with soap and warm water
    • Do not squeeze or bleach the injured area
    • Call 8-1-1 immediately for advice 24/7

Visit your local emergency department immediately for follow-up care.

For more information call the Communicable Disease program at Island Health (8:30 AM–4:30 PM):

    • South Island: 1-866-665-6626
    • Central Island: 1-866-770-7798
    • North Island: 1-877-887-8835