Tuberculosis in Nunavut

December 14, 2010

Nunavut has recorded more cases of tuberculosis this year than any other year in its history. The territory's TB infection rate is now 62 times the national average. We look at the scope of the problem as well as potential solutions.


It's Tuesday, December 14th.

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This is The Current.

TB in Nunavut - Dr. Isaac Sobol

We started this segment with a clip from Abraham Tagalik. He's a broadcaster with the CBC in Iqaluit. And the disease he's talking about is Tuberculosis. Earlier this week, Nunavut recorded its 99th case of tuberculosis for 2010. That's more than any other year since the territory was founded in 1999 and nearly double the previous record. Nunavut's TB infection rate is now 62 times the national average.

On top of that, this outbreak is hitting younger people especially hard. And what makes it more difficult to cope with is the wide-spread poverty, the lack of proper housing and the high number of older people who carry a dormant version of TB, because of a past epidemic. For Abraham Tagalik and others, TB also has a problematic history.

Doctor Isaac Sobol is Nunavut's Chief Medical Officer of Health. He was in Iqaluit.

TB in Nunavut - Dr. Anne Fanning

Doctor Anne Fanning has been treating tuberculosis patients for 3 decades. She has worked in Canada and around the world. And she was made a Member of the Order of Canada for her work fighting TB. She is now a Professor Emeritis in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alberta. She was in Edmonton.

We did request an interview with Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. She wasn't available this morning. We also asked to speak to Tagak Curley, Nunavut's Minister of Health and Social Services and the minister responsible for Nunavut Housing. He was not available this morning either.

Other Segments from today's show:
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