World TB Day

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World TB Day - The Canadian Lung Association Joins an International Team to Tackle TB worldwide and supports the fight in Canada's North

Saskatoon, March 24, 2011 - The Canadian Lung Association will provide technical expertise on an international health team that will fight tuberculosis (TB) around the world. TB CARE II is a five-year project that will assist countries most affected by this highly contagious and potentially deadly bacterial infection which kills approximately two million people worldwide each year.

"The Canadian Lung Association is thrilled to announce our participation in this new collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This is a wonderful opportunity to apply our world-class expertise in improving health systems to the international Stop TB efforts. TB CARE II builds on our long history of fighting tuberculosis," says Heather Borquez, The Canadian Lung Association's President & CEO.

World TB Day is held every year on March 24th to mark the discovery of the cause of the disease by Dr. Robert Koch. Worldwide, more than 9 million people still develop active TB each year and nearly 2 million will die.1

The Canadian Lung Association (CLA), in conjunction with the provincial Lung Associations, has a rich and proud history of fighting TB. Established in 1900 to control the spread of tuberculosis, the CLA began its work under the original name The Canadian Association for the Prevention of Consumption and other Forms of Tuberculosis. Over the years, the Lung Association family helped to achieve dramatic changes in the status of TB, and now a steady decline in this deadly disease has been realized.

Over the past seven years, TB rates in Canada have been relatively stable, averaging about 1,600 cases per year. In 2009, people born outside of Canada accounted for 63% of all reported TB cases in Canada.2

According to 2009 figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian-born non-Aboriginal and Canadian-born Aboriginal cases made up 15% and 21% of all reported cases, respectively.3 However, the TB rate in the Canadian-born Aboriginal group continues to be the highest of the three groups, being almost 6 times that of the overall Canadian TB rate of 4.7 per 100,000.4

The New Brunswick Lung Association is a key partner in an initiative to fight TB in Nunavut which had the highest incidence rate (174.0 per 100,000 population)5 in 2009. In January 2011, the Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced $800,000 in financial support for The Taima TB project, an initiative that includes: the Government of Nunavut, Dr. Gonzalo Alvarez, a consultant respirologist for Nunavut who is currently affiliated with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute at the University of Ottawa; Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.; Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; and the National Aboriginal Health Organization.

"We are very pleased to be working with our partners both in Nunavut and across Canada to address the very serious threat of tuberculosis in the North," says Barbara MacKinnon, president and CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association.

The Taima TB project is an important part of Canada's Lung Health Program, established by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the National Lung Health Framework, a strategic action plan to improve the lung health of Canadians.

Learn more about the National Lung Health Framework

About the Canadian Lung Association

Established in 1900, The Canadian Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung health issues.

The Canadian Lung Association is the secretariat for and a founding member of StopTB Canada, Canada's voice in the global partnership to accelerate social and political action to stop the unnecessary spread of tuberculosis around the world.

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For more information please contact:

Brian Graham, President & CEO
Lung Association of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon - (306) 343-9511 or 1-888-566-LUNG
brian.graham@sk.lung.ca

 


1 The Global Plan to Stop TB 2011-2015, Stop TB Partnership http://www.stoptb.org/assets/documents/global/plan/TB_GlobalPlanToStopTB2011-2015.pdf
2,3,4,5 Public Health Agency of Canada. (2009). Pre-release, Tuberculosis in Canada. Retrieved from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tbpc-latb/pubs/tbcan09pre/index-eng.php#in Figures for 20089are provisional until publication of the Tuberculosis in Canada – 2008 Annual Report.

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