COVID-19 pandemic stalled progress on eliminating tuberculosis among Inuit: officials – CBC

Apr 18, 2023

Plan to eliminate TB by 2030 still in place

Nunavut’s health minister says the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted efforts to eliminate tuberculosis in Inuit communities, and questions remain over whether targets to stamp out the disease can be met.

“COVID has had a huge impact on every area of health care, and that includes TB,” said John Main. “While we were putting so much effort toward dealing with COVID, we did have to slow the pace of work on other areas.”

Five years ago, Ottawa and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a national advocacy group, announced plans to reduce active tuberculosis across Inuit Nunangat by at least half to no more than 100 cases per 100,000 people by 2025, and eliminate it entirely by 2030. Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland in Canada, is made up of more than 50 communities in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Quebec and Labrador.

Public Health Agency of Canada data indicates reported rates of active tuberculosis dropped significantly among Inuit between 2019 and 2020 from 188.7 cases per 100,000 to 72.2. Health officials in Inuit Nunangat, however, say that’s partly due to reduced screening.

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