TB 185 times more prevalent in Inuit - Macleans.ca

TB 185 times more prevalent in Inuit

Government study finds shocking rates of the disease


The first national study on the incidence of TB in the north has found the disease is 185 times more prevalent among Innu than the general population. The rate of TB in Canada’s four main Inuit regions is 157.5 out of 100,000, verses only 0.8 per 100,000 in the rest of the country. First nations in the South were also found to have a TB prevalence rate 31 times higher than the rest of the country. The disease is often linked with poverty, so it should come as no surprise that it’s flourishing in communities where access to healthcare is poor, overcrowding is common and up to 70 per cent of preschoolers live in houses where there isn’t enough food. “TB will never be eliminated until housing is improved, food security is improved, and the access to health care for Inuit is closer to what other Canadians take for granted,” said Gail Turner, the head of Inuit Tapirisat’s national health committee. Her group, as well as others, are calling for a new federal health strategy to eliminate tuberculosis in the north.

CBC News

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