Plan to wipe out tuberculosis in Inuit communities shifts to prevention

OTTAWA -Inuit groups and the federal government have announced a plan aimed at living up to Liberal promises to eliminate tuberculosis from Arctic Inuit communities by 2030.

Natan Obed, head of Canada’s national Inuit organization, says a new approach will shift emphasis from fighting outbreaks of the respiratory disease to preventing it from occurring.

That could include efforts such as mass screening for tuberculosis in some communities.

The plan also includes fixing some of the social causes of the disease such as poverty.

Ottawa set aside about $28 million in the last budget for the effort.

Obed says it will take much more than that to solve problems such as overcrowded housing, a major contributor to the spread of TB.

Rates of tuberculosis in the North are as much as 300 times higher than in the south.

 

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