In Nunavut, the incidence rate of active tuberculosis (TB) disease among the Inuit remains the highest in Canada. Active TB disease is an airborne disease most commonly characterized by cough, weight loss, night sweats, and fever. If left untreated, it can result in serious morbidity and death. Timely and effective treatment results in improved patient outcomes, and limits exposure to the community thereby avoiding outbreaks.
In 2010 the TB rates were:
(Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Tuberculosis in Canada, 2010).
Furthermore, among Canadian born Aboriginal people, Inuit have a disproportionately high rate of TB across Canada as seen in these rates from 2010:
Inuit – 198.6/100,000
First Nations- 22.2/100,000
(PHAC, Tuberculosis in Canada, 2010).
Nunavut has a multifaceted Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Program that follows Canadian TB standards. The components are listed below.
- Management of cases of active TB disease
- Contact tracing and outbreak investigation
- Screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and active TB disease
- Surveillance and data management
- Laboratory diagnostic capacity
- Education and training of health professionals
- Community-based awareness
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Measures in high-risk settings