Released on June 14, 2013
The Saskatchewan government is investing $500,000 to support a new tuberculosis (TB) strategy. The Saskatchewan Provincial Tuberculosis Strategy takes a patient-centred, community-designed, team-delivered approach to build on the care and services already in place to better serve Saskatchewan residents with tuberculosis and those at risk of developing it.
Health Minister Dustin Duncan today announced the funding and its goal of reducing Saskatchewan’s TB rate by 25 per cent over five years. Duncan made the announcement at a tuberculosis symposium in Saskatoon, fulfilling a provincial commitment to address the issue.
“We recognize that TB is a significant health issue, particularly among First Nations and Métis populations,” Duncan said. “Our strategy to address TB recognizes that we must continue to work closely with our health and community partners to address the root causes of this complex, yet preventable disease.”
The strategy focuses on five areas: clinical diagnosis and treatment; prevention and community engagement; training and education; epidemiology and surveillance; and quality improvement, program evaluation and research.
Funding announced today will strengthen nursing and outreach support in northern Saskatchewan communities. Funding will also be allocated to the provincial TB program to enhance current prevention, surveillance and control services for citizens throughout the province. The strategy was developed through extensive consultation with partners, including TB Control Saskatchewan, health regions, communities, Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Branch, and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority.
“We have had some success in decreasing overall TB rates, but this new strategy will support enhanced services and programming in areas in which we haven’t seen progress,” Medical Health Officer for the province’s three northern health regions Dr. James Irvine said. “To be successful, we will need strong partnerships and collaboration between communities, First Nations and Métis, health regions and governments.”
Saskatchewan’s tuberculosis rate (7.5 cases per 100,000 people) is higher than the national average (4.7 per 100,000 people).
The TB strategy is posted online at www.health.gov.sk.ca/tb-strategy.
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