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Archived - Minister of Health unveils collaborative action to address tuberculosis in Canada

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March 23, 2014
For immediate release

Canada’s plan focuses on protecting and treating people who are at greater risk of infection

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today, ahead of World Tuberculosis Day, released the Government of Canada’s Tuberculosis Prevention and Control in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action. This framework sets out the federal commitments to address tuberculosis (TB) in populations most at risk in Canada: Aboriginal peoples and foreign-born individuals from countries with a high rate of TB.

The framework focuses on three key areas to address TB within the two groups most at risk:

  • enhancing current efforts to prevent and control active TB;
  • helping to identify and treat latent TB infection for those at high risk of developing active TB disease; and
  • championing collaborative action to address the underlying risk factors for TB.

The Public Health Agency of Canada developed the framework in consultation with other federal government departments with a stake in TB prevention and control.

To read of a copy of the framework, visit www.publichealth.gc.ca.

Quick Facts

  • The framework presents a coordinated federal response to TB in Canada, recognizing the shared federal, provincial, and territorial responsibilities in addressing this important health issue.
  • Additional departments involved in this framework include Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Correctional Service Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
  • TB is preventable and curable, yet it remains one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide.
  • Canada has one of the lowest TB rates in the world.
  • The framework will support the Government’s efforts to address TB rates in at-risk populations.
  • TB is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • TB usually attacks the lungs, although other parts of the body can also be infected.
  • The infectious form of the disease is known as active TB and is curable, but requires appropriate medication and strict adherence to treatment to prevent drug resistance.
  • Latent TB is not infectious but if not appropriately treated it can develop into active TB.
  • Identifying and treating latent TB in individuals at high-risk of developing active TB disease is also important in lessening the burden of this disease.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to reducing rates of tuberculosis in Canada and to meeting our commitments under the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis 2006-2015. The framework highlights the important role our Government plays in preventing and controlling the disease by working closely with provinces and territories to address TB rates in the most at-risk communities.”

Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

“By implementing the Prevention and Control in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action, our government is taking action to ensure the health and safety of Canadians. Through Citizenship and Immigration’s medical examination program, we are helping to protect Canada from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.”

Chris Alexander
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

Contacts

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983


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