Media in Canada, the US and UK recently reported that there were over 41,000 cases of measles in Europe so far in 2018, and 37 were fatal. This is particularly tragic because vaccines have been available for measles since the 1960s. That said, I wonder why we are not hearing about the much more serious tuberculosis epidemic. Tuberculosis is preventable and largely curable, but is killing over 4,500 people every day. My hometown has a population of 5,200, and the mind boggles in trying to imagine it decreasing to 700 people overnight.
Although this is mainly happening “over there” in the global South, the incidence of tuberculosis among Canada’s Inuit is currently being addressed as the crisis it is. The World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy aims to effectively eliminate the disease by 2035, but this will not happen without strong political will. Hopefully, Prime Minister Trudeau will add his voice to those of other influential world leaders at the United Nation’s high level meeting on tuberculosis to be held Sept. 26.