Tuberculosis screening clinic coming to Naujaat

Cases rising in the community, Health Department says; clinic runs until end of May

A community-wide tuberculosis screening clinic is scheduled to take place in Naujaat starting April 15 and continue until the end of May. (File photo)

By Kierstin Williams

With tuberculosis rates rising in Naujaat, a community-wide prevention and screening clinic is scheduled to open next week in the hamlet of approximately 1,230 people.

Starting April 15 and running until the end of May, screenings will be held at the Naujaat hamlet building. Community members will be contacted by household to schedule appointments, according to a Health Department news release.

Tuberculosis is an airborne bacterial infection that most commonly affects the lungs, and can be spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

The illness can cause symptoms coughing, chest pain, fever, and weight loss.

The screening process will initially involve a questionnaire, a TB test and chest X-ray. Further testing could involve a blood test or providing a sputum, or phlegm, sample.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is partnering with the Health Department to operate the clinic.

“The rates of TB in Nunavut are already much higher than the rest of Canada because of overcrowded homes and difficulties in accessing health-care services,” said Paul Irngaut, vice-president of NTI, in the news release.

He added, “We can all do our part to stop the spread of TB so one day soon we can eliminate this curable and preventable disease from Nunavut.”

Health Minister John Main, in the release, said “early detection is key to eliminating TB from our communities.”

A TB outbreak was declared in Naujaat in May 2023. A spokesperson for the Health Department could not be reached to confirm if the outbreak remains in place or to say how many cases there are currently in the community.

Naujaat is the fifth community in the past five years to host a community-wide screening clinic, after Pangnirtung, Whale Cove, Qikiqtarjuaq and Kinngait.

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