People living in the ISR want to prevent the kind of TB outbreaks that are occurring in other regions of the Inuit Nunangat where the incidence of TB had been as high as 300 times that of Non-Indigenous Canadian-born citizens. Most outbreaks of TB start from an old latent TB or what we call “Sleeping TB”.
Sleeping TB is harmless and cannot make you sick. However, if a person’s immune system gets weak, sleeping TB germs can wake up. This leads to “Active TB Disease”, that makes a person sick and can spread to others. As many as 21% of persons living in the ISR have “Sleeping TB”. It is expected that 1 in every 10 of these will get Active TB at some point in their life. If TB is identified and treated early spread can be prevented. Both “Sleeping TB” and “Active TB Disease” can be treated and cured.
The Tumihiuqtuq initiative will support communities in raising awareness of the dangers of Sleeping TB and how to guard against it. Tools specific to each community are being developed for TB education.
New testing and treatment options will be made available in the near future.
For more Information contact: IRC Health and Wellness Division at (867) 777-7088 or link to IRC’s Nanilavut Initiative for families searching for loved ones sent out in the 1940-60s for TB
Additional Information and Links:
This video highlights the TB Champion Training that was held in Inuvik September 25-26, 2023. Direct Observed Preventative Therapy training was also provided on September 27, 2023, for the Community Health Representatives in the Beaufort Delta Region.)
The objective of the TB Champion Training was to increase knowledge so the participants would understand:
- The roles and responsibilities of the TB Champion in the Tumihiuqtuq Initiative,
- The background and objectives of the initiative to End TB,
- The history of TB in the region and how this effects the initiative,
- Sleeping TB Infection, diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment,
- The critical role of the TB Champion in reducing stigma and supporting trauma informed care,
- How to plan for the initiative to roll out in your community,
- New approaches to supporting surveillance, testing, and treatment of Sleeping TB,
- How to communicate with other members of the Tuberculosis Elimination Team and support collaborative learning,
- Ways to engage/mobilize in the community, and
- How to develop a community engagement strategy.