Press Statement by Stephen Lewis on TB in Nunavut

I have just completed a four-day intensive fact-finding mission to Nunavut with my colleague Georgia White. The object of our fact-finding was Tuberculosis. We spent two days in Iqaluit meeting with the Minister of Health and senior officials, the NTI President and senior staff, the Public Health Centre, the Hospital, the wellness centre, the boarding home and many Elders. The trip was capped-off by a community feast.

We then spent two days in Igloolik, meeting with the hamlet Mayor and Council, the staff of the Health Centre, the wellness committee, the Elders committee, a school breakfast feeding program, a fifth grade class for questions and answers about TB, an open line radio show (many callers) and the Nunavut Housing Corporation followed by a visit to a typically, if grotesquely, overcrowded home. In Igloolik there was also a hugely successful community feast.

It was a riveting, memorable experience, not just because it was our first visit to the High Arctic, not just because of the astonishing beauty of the unfolding landscape, not just because the entire Inuit community was uniformly generous and welcoming, but because we were exposed to issues for which we were entirely unprepared.

Read the full statement on the website