Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 141-146
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2000/498409
Original Article

Tuberculosis in Aboriginal Canadians

Vernon H Hoeppner and Darcy D Marciniuk

Division of Tuberculosis Control, Department of Medicine and Research Centre for the Elimination of Tuberculosis, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Endemic tuberculosis (TB) was almost certainly present in Canadian aboriginal people (aboriginal Canadians denotes status Indians, Inuit, nonstatus Indians and metis as reported by Statistics Canada) before the Old World traders arrived. However, the social changes that resulted from contact with these traders created the conditions that converted endemic TB into epidemic TB. The incidence of TB varied inversely with the time interval from this cultural collision, which began on the east coast in the 16th century and ended in the Northern Territories in the 20th century. This relatively recent epidemic explains why the disease is more frequent in aboriginal children than in Canadian-born nonaboriginal people. Treatment plans must account for the socioeconomic conditions and cultural characteristics of the aboriginal people, especially healing models and language. Prevention includes bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination and chemoprophylaxis, and must account for community conditions, such as rates of suicide, which have exceeded the rate of TB. The control of TB requires a centralized program with specifically directed funding. It must include a program that works in partnership with aboriginal communities.