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Statement regarding TB outbreak in Nain
Jun 1, 2015
The following statement was issued today by Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo regarding the tuberculosis outbreak in Nain.
Tuberculosis has been the subject of much concern in recent weeks. With any disease comes fear. That’s natural, and as a resident of Nain I fully understand and appreciate the concerns being expressed by the community.
But we are not in crisis mode, as some people have suggested. This situation is being very well managed by both the Public Health office of the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development and Labrador-Grenfell Health Authority. Information pamphlets are available throughout the community and the issue has been covered extensively in the media. The health professionals continue to work on containing the outbreak and ensuring those that require treatment are receiving it.
This past Wednesday my office helped to organize a public meeting to listen to concerns, but to also inform residents of what is being done to address the situation. One of the concerns that has been raised since the media coverage around the middle of May has been having the whole community tested for TB. Health professionals do not feel it is necessary and would not help with their efforts. As an alternative and to address concerns by residents who feel they want to be tested, Labrador-Grenfell Health will provide an open clinic on Tuesday, for residents who have concerns, want more information or feel they need a TB assessment. The clinic will be held once a week, and all visitors will be properly assessed and, if necessary, tests will be carried out to determine whether a person is infected with the disease.
The public information session provided factual information and allowed residents to raise their concerns and have questions answered.
A petition circulating this past week calling for widespread testing of residents and visitors to the community, citing cases have been found in the school, daycare and a local store and calling for the closure of our schools and daycare centre to treat people that “may” be infected, has only added to the fear and confusion. While I know people have a right to express their concerns, make any comment and sign any petition, as an elected official I believe it is important to gather facts, take in new information, listen carefully and base your judgement or decision on such.
The Nunatsiavut Government will continue to work with Labrador Grenfell Health to monitor the situation very closely, take appropriate measures and to provide information and regular updates to residents.
Information pamphlets are available throughout Nain, and copies will be forwarded to other Labrador Inuit communities in the coming days.
Bert Pomeroy, Director of Communications
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