Partnering for a TB-Free Nunavut on World Tuberculosis Day

Press Release

Iqaluit, Nunavut (March 25, 2024) – Together, the Government of Nunavut (GN) and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) marked World Tuberculosis (TB) Day this past Sunday, March 24, 2024, by reaffirming their commitment to ending TB in Nunavut.

NTI and the GN have developed educational colouring sheets paired with a conversation guide for parents, guardians, and adults. These materials will help Nunavummiut to start talking about TB with accurate and current information. The colouring sheets were designed to engage children in learning about TB at home in an interactive and supportive way. Empowering families to have conversations to support early TB awareness will help reduce the fear and stigma that often surrounds TB.

NTI and the GN continue to work together at territorial and community levels to end TB in Nunavut, including engagement events and TB screening clinics in communities with TB outbreaks. Both organizations have delivered complementary supports to those in treatment, combining NTI’s pilot nutrition program and cultural safety training for healthcare workers with the GN’s financial assistance for individuals undergoing TB treatment. Communities impacted by outbreaks receive ongoing, customized support to address their specific needs.

“Acknowledging our history with tuberculosis marks a collective step forward, transforming awareness into action, mistrust into victory, and solidarity into the ultimate eradication of TB in Nunavut,” said Hon. John Main, Minister of Health. “Every Nunavut resident can help by raising awareness, fostering discussions, and promoting health measures. United, we can boost treatment effectiveness and enhance the wellbeing of all Nunavummiut affected by tuberculosis.”

“Nunavut Inuit have a long history of dealing with tuberculosis.” said Aluki Kotierk, president of NTI. “The ways that communities were affected in the past, the way we lost family and friends taken to institutions in the south by the government, the mistrust that this generated, has made it more difficult to confront the challenge of eliminating TB in Nunavut today. Being open and honest with Inuit in bringing awareness about the disease, and the need to talk to each other about it, is a crucial step in the process of finally eliminating it from Nunavut.”

Nunavummiut are encouraged to play a role in their community’s health by staying informed, engaging in TB prevention efforts, and utilizing local health resources for testing and treatment. Together, we can move towards a healthier, TB-free Nunavut.

For more information on tuberculosis prevention and treatment, or to learn about the World TB Day initiatives, please visit the Government of Nunavut website.

Contact

Pierre Essoh
Communications Specialist
Department of Health
867-975-5712
PEssoh@gov.nu.ca

Kevin Kablutsiak
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
867-975-4941
media@tunngavik.com

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