Photo: A plan to prevent TB at Nunavut’s mine camps


Nunavut’s Department of Health must work closely with mine developers to combat the territory’s staggering levels of tuberculosis, says Dr. Jasmine Pawa, the territory’s deputy chief medical officer, during a morning presentation at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit on Wednesday, April 11. The Health Department is participating in “ongoing discussions” with developers to do preventive screenings for mine workers, who Pawa says are susceptible to TB while working in isolated mining camps. Some solutions suggested so far include doing on-site blood sampling at mine camps and pre-employment screening. In 2016, the TB infection rate in Nunavut stood at 179.1 cases per 100,000 people in Nunavut, compared with just five per 100,000 for the general Canadian population. That places Nunavut’s rate higher than the global rate of 130 cases per 100,000 people. Inuit also suffer from more TB infection than First Nations or Métis. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

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