The rates of tuberculosis for Canada’s Inuit peoples are 300 times higher than for Canada’s non-Indigenous people. The Government of Canada, in partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national organization representing the Inuit peoples of Canada, announced that Canada will end the TB epidemic in Inuit Nunangat, Canada’s Inuit regions, by 2030. While this is a significant example of Canadian leadership nationally, it is important to note that, at our current rates of progress, we will not meet the international community’s goal of ending the TB epidemic globally for another 150 years.
Globally, TB will kill an estimated 28 million people by 2030, with an estimated economic cost of $1 trillion. There is a lack of awareness, recognition, and meaningful action from the world’s global political leaders, including Canada’s. The United Nations General Assembly will hold a high-level meeting on TB on Sept. 26. It is vitally important that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally attend and lead Canada’s national delegation at this vitally important event.