Last Friday, March 23rd, 2018, to mark World TB Day, the Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, and the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Natan Obed, announced their joint commitment to eliminating tuberculosis (TB) across Inuit Nunangat by 2030, and reduce active TB by at least 50% by 2025
In 2016, the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among Inuit in Inuit Nunangat was more than 300 times higher than in the Canadian-born, non-Indigenous population. This staggering and unacceptable reality has been trending upward for the last decade and needs to change.
TB can be treated and cured by taking antibiotics, however, stigma and discrimination remain crucial barriers to TB care and prevention. Our government is committed to eliminating TB across Inuit Nunangat by 2030, and reducing active TB by at least 50% by 2025. This will be achieved through an Elimination Action Framework led by the previously announced TB Task Force.
We are determined to move forward with a strategy that is both community-owned and community-driven and one that addresses the social determinants of health that are closely linked to TB; such as housing, food security and nutrition, access to health services and mental wellness.
As MP for Labrador, I know first-hand how TB significantly and negatively impacts our communities. For too long have individuals had to suffer at the hands of a treatable and curable illness. I am proud of our Government’s commitment to addressing this alarming problem. I encourage people to be tested for TB and to follow the appropriate treatments. Together we can eradicate TB and the impact it has on our communities.