• World Tuberculosis Day – March 24, 2012
Mar 20, 2013

Public Health Agency of Canada

March 24th marks World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. It reminds us that despite the availability of effective screening and treatment methods, TB remains a significant public health issue around the globe. In 2010, there were an estimated 8.8 million new cases and 1.4 million TB-related deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recognizes that TB is also a public health concern here at home. While the total number of reported annual cases in Canada is low, certain Aboriginal communities and a number of foreign-born individuals coming to Canada from countries where TB is endemic continue to experience a higher burden of the disease.  This is why we are working with provincial and territorial health partners, Aboriginal leadership and communities on a number of fronts to address this issue. 

Recently, the Government of Canada announced two research studies This link will take you to another Web site (external site) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to help stop TB in Nunavut. The two studies build on results from a previously funded pilot project from the Agency called TAIMA TB (Stop TB in Inuktitut).

This is in addition to ongoing investments to support TB programs for First Nations on-reserve and Inuit in Nunatsiavut.

To help lower the rate of TB among Canada’s First Nations and Inuit communities, Health Canada released their Strategy Against Tuberculosis for First Nations On-Reserve This link will take you to another Web site (external site). Through this effort, Health Canada is working towards lowering the rate of TB in this population by strengthening its partnerships with Aboriginal and provincial authorities, measuring progress, focusing on populations that are the most vulnerable and having the flexibility to make TB program adjustments to better meet the needs of Canada’s First Nations people.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also continues to conduct national TB surveillance and to share this analysis with the provinces and territories. Of note, at the end of February of this year, the Agency released the Tuberculosis in Canada 2010 Pre-Release Report to its partners which provides the provisional reported rates of TB in Canada. This type of data gives our partners the information they need to develop programs that are effective in preventing and managing TB.

All of these initiatives will help Canada meet its commitment to the WHO’s Global Plan to Stop TB.

On World Tuberculosis Day, I encourage Canadians to visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website to inform themselves on TB prevention and control, as well as the Stop TB Partnership This link will take you to another Web site (external site) website for more information on how to be a part of The Global Plan to Stop TB.

Dr. David Butler-Jones
Chief Public Health Officer