National Inuit Organization, ITK, marks World TB Day; Responds to Federal Report on TB

March 25, 2014

Ottawa, Ontario – Each year, World TB Day not only provides the opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis, but also the progress that is being made to combat the disease.

The Government of Canada’s most recent report Tuberculosis Prevention and Control in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action estimates that the incidence rate of active TB disease among Inuit is almost 400 times that of Canadian-born non-Aboriginals. The report from Health Canada sets out key areas of focus to reduce the incidence and burden of TB within Aboriginal populations. ITK supports the report’s endorsement of a collaborative approach to address underlying risk factors related to social determinants like overcrowded housing, food security and nutrition, mental wellness and access to health care services.

“Combatting and eliminating high rates of tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat requires a collaborative approach between the federal government, provincial and territorial governments, Inuit organizations and communities,” said National Inuit Leader and President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Mr. Terry Audla. “I am encouraged to see that the government’s recent report on tuberculosis echoes many of the same principles outlined in ITK’s own Inuit-specific strategy to dealing with TB.”

Recognizing the urgency to decrease the rates of TB in Inuit Nunangat, ITK collaborated with Inuit regions and other partners to collectively develop and release an Inuit-specific strategy to dealing with TB. The goal is to increase awareness of the need for more effective approaches to TB prevention, control, and care for Inuit. laying the framework for the development of effective and sustainable solutions to reduce TB among Inuit.

“We come together to reflect on this disease and the enormous impact it has had on Inuit communities,” said Mr. Audla. “It is our collective desire that we can work together collaboratively to address the root causes of the disease in an effort to prevent and control its spread so that future generations do not suffer the same risk.”

For more information, please contact:

Patricia D’Souza
Senior Communications Officer
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
dsouza@itk.ca; 613-292-4482

NT5

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