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Arviat MLA wants tuberculosis screening for community

Minister says it’s up to expert recommendation
Minister of Health John Main said community-wide tuberculosis screenings would be triggered by recommendation from the chief public health officer, in response to questions about setting one up in Arviat. NNSL file photo ᒥᓂᔅᑕ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᔮᓐ ᒦᓐ ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᓄᓇᓕᓗᒃᑖᒥᑦ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓂᖃᕋᔭᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᖁᔭᐅᒍᑎᒃ ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᕐᒧᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓂᑦ, ᑭᐅᑉᓗᓂ ᐊᐱᖅᖁᑕᐅᔪᓄᑦ ᐊᕐᕕᐊᓂᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓂᖃᕈᒪᓂᕐᓄᑦ. NNSL-ᑯᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᖓ

Referencing a community-wide tuberculosis screening clinic in Pangnirtung this September, Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq asked Minister of Health John Main whether one would be taking place in Arviat.

Main responded in the house Nov. 6 that when the chief public health officer identifies or declares an outbreak in a community, “it is a trigger for additional resources and additional supports in order to address that outbreak.”

Elaborating, Main said the determination for a community-wide screening in Arviat would be made by clinical experts and come from the chief public health officer’s office.

“It is sad that there still is tuberculosis in Nunavut,” replied Savikataaq. “I think, if we don’t act on it and eliminate it – and it was supposed to be eliminated by 2013, as the federal government had proposed that – it is sad that we still have it.”

He said Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is “holding a large sum of money” that is supposed to go toward eliminating tuberculosis within the territory. He asked what the total amount given to NTI is and how much of those funds the Department of Health has accessed to date.

“In terms of the accounting for the funds that flowed to Nunavut Tunngavik, I’m not in a place to speak to what the balance of the fund is within Nunavut Tunngavik’s coffers,” replied Main. “I respect their end of the fact that they are an independent organization from the Nunavut government and that’s why I can’t answer that.”

For Pangnirtung’s community-wide clinic, NTI spent approximately $2.5 million, said Main.

“We really do appreciate the ongoing support and collaboration with Nunavut Tunngavik specific to Pangnirtung but also with regard to other work on tuberculosis,” he said.

If the chief public health officer needs to make a declaration to get a community-wide screening, said Savikataaq, “can I ask the minister why the chief public health officer has been vacant for so long if that office is needed to make recommendations to battle tuberculosis within the territory?”

Main said said CPHO Dr. Sean Wachtel has been on leave “for some time now” and acting chief public health officers have been filling that role.

“A familiar and trusted face, Dr. Michael Patterson, was acting in that role,” said Main. “We also had Dr. Jasmine Pawa acting in that role. I would like to reassure the member that at no point has the role been vacant. There have been several individuals filling that role on an acting basis to ensure that the important work through that office continues.”

The screening clinic in Pangnirtung began mid-September and involves community members being contacted by household to attend screening sessions that include a questionnaire, skin test, chest X-ray, sputum collection and possible blood work. In 2021, the Government of Nunavut declared a tuberculosis outbreak in the community.

The GN also announced a tuberculosis outbreak in Naujaat this May.

ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᓄᓇᓕᓗᒃᑖᒧᑦ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓂᖃᓚᐅᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂᑦ ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᒥᑦ ᐊᒥᕋᐃᔭᕐᕕᖕᒥᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ, ᐊᕐᕕᐊᑦ ᓂᒋᐊᓄᑦ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎ ᔫ ᓴᕕᑲᑖᖅ ᐊᐱᕆᔪᖅ ᒥᓂᔅᑕᒥᒃ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᔮᓐ ᒦᓐᒧᑦ ᐊᕐᕕᐊᓂᑦ ᐱᑕᖃᕐᓂᐊᕐᒪᖔᑦ.

ᒦᓐ ᑭᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᕐᕕᖕᒥᑦ ᑲᑕᒑᕆᕝᕕᒃ 6-ᒥᑦ ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᖅ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᑎᑦᑎᑉᓗᓂ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖅᑕᖃᓕᕐᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᑦ, “ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑎᑦᑎᔾᔪᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᖅ ᐃᑲᔫᑎᒃᑲᓐᓂᐅᔪᓂᒃ ᑲᒪᒋᔭᐅᓂᐊᕐᓗᓂ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕐᓇᖅᑕᖃᓕᕐᓂᐅᔪᖅ.”

ᓇᓗᓇᐃᔭᐃᑉᓗᓂ, ᒦᓐ ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᐃᓱᒪᓕᐊᖑᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᖅ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᐅᑕᓗᒃᑖᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᖃᕐᒪᖔᑕ ᐊᕐᕕᐊᓂᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖅᑐᓕᕆᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓂᖃᖅᑐᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᕐᕕᖓᑦ.

“ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᕐᓇᖅᑐᖃᕐᒪᑦ ᓱᓕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᑦ,” ᑭᐅᔪᖅ ᓴᕕᑲᑖᖅ. “ᐃᓱᒪᔪᖓ, ᖃᓄᐃᓕᐅᕈᑎᒋᙱᒃᑯᑉᑎᒍᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᑕᖃᕈᖕᓃᖅᑎᙱᓪᓗᒍ - ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᑕᖃᕈᖕᓃᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᐊᓚᐅᖅᖢᓂ 2013-ᒥᑦ, ᒐᕙᒪᑐᖃᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᑕᖃᕈᖕᓃᖅᑎᓐᓂᐊᕐᓂᕋᓚᐅᕐᒪᔾᔪᒃ - ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᖅ ᑕᐃᒪᐅᖕᒪᑦ ᓱᓕ.”

ᐅᖃᖅᖢᓂ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃᑯᑦ “ᑮᓇᐅᔭᑲᓪᓚᖕᒥᑦ ᐱᓯᒪᔪᑦ” ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᖃᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᑕᖃᕈᖕᓃᖅᑎᓐᓂᐊᕐᓗᒍ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᑦ. ᐊᐱᕆᔪᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃᑯᓐᓄᐊᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᑮᓇᐅᔭᐃᑦ ᑲᑎᖦᖢᒋᑦ ᖃᑉᓯᐅᖕᒪᖔᑕ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐊᖏᑎᒋᔪᒥᒃ ᑮᓇᐅᔭᓂᑦ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᓯᒪᓕᖅᐸᑦ ᐅᑉᓗᒥᒧᑦ ᑎᑭᖦᖢᒍ.

“ᐲᔭᒃᓴᐅᑎᖃᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᕆᑉᓗᒍ ᑮᓇᐅᔭᓄᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃᑯᓄᐊᖅᑕᐅᔪᓂᒃ, ᐅᖃᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᔪᖅᑐᖓ ᖃᑉᓯᓂᒃ ᑮᓇᐅᔭᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᓯᒪᖕᒪᖔᑕ,” ᑭᐅᔪᖅ ᒦᓐ. “ᐃᒃᐱᒍᓱᒡᕕᒋᔭᒃᑲ ᐃᖕᒥᒃᑰᖓᑉᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᐅᓚᑦᑎᔨᐅᓂᖏᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᒐᕙᒪᒃᑯᓐᓂᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᓐᓇᒧᓪᓗ ᑭᐅᓂᖅ ᐊᔪᖅᑕᕋ ᐊᐱᖅᖁᑕᐅᔪᖅ.”

ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᒥᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᐅᑕᓗᒃᑖᓂᒃ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᓂᖓᓄᑦ, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᑐᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ $2.5 ᒥᓕᔭᓐᓗᐊᓂᒃ, ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᒦᓐ.

“ᐊᓕᐊᓇᐃᒋᔭᕗᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᑐᙵᕕᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒥᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒋᔭᐅᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᒧᑦ ᐊᓯᖏᓐᓄᓪᓗ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᓄᑦ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᕐᒧᑦ,” ᒦᓐ ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ.

ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑎᑦᑎᔭᕆᐊᖃᖅᐸᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᐅᑕᓗᒃᑖᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᖃᕐᒪᑕ, ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᓴᕕᑲᑖᖅ, “ᒥᓂᔅᑕ ᐊᐱᕆᔪᖕᓇᖅᐸᕋ ᓱᖕᒪᖔᑦ ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᐃᓂᒋᔭᐅᔪᖅ ᐃᓐᓄᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᙱᒻᒪᖔᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᓕᐅᖁᔨᔭᕆᐊᖃᖅᐸᑕ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᓂᐊᕐᓗᓂ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ ᐃᓗᐊᓂᑦ?”

ᒦᓐ ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ ᐃᖢᐊᖅᓴᐃᔨ ᓵᓐ ᐅᐊᒃᑐᓪ (Sean Wachtel) ᓄᖅᖃᖓᓕᖅᑐᖅ “ᐊᑯᓂᐊᕐᔫᓕᖅᑐᒥᑦ” ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓇᖐᓯᒪᔪᓐᓄᑦ ᐃᓐᓄᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᖃᑦᑕᖅᖢᓂ ᐊᖓᔪᖅᖄᕐᔪᐊᖅ ᐋᓐᓂᐊᖃᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᔪᓕᕆᔨᒧᑦ ᐃᓂᐅᔪᖅ.

“ᐃᓕᑕᕐᓇᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐅᒃᐱᕆᔭᐅᔪᖅ, ᐃᖢᐊᖅᓴᐃᔨ ᒪᑭᓪᓗ ᐴᑐᓴᓐ (Michael Patterson), ᐃᓇᖐᓯᒪᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᕐᒥᑦ,” ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖅ ᒦᓐ. “ᐃᖢᐊᖅᓴᐃᔨ ᔮᔅᒥᓐ ᐸᕙ (Jasmine Pawa) ᐃᓇᖐᓯᒪᓚᐅᕐᒥᔪᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᕐᒥᑦ. ᖃᐅᔨᒪᖁᔨᔪᖓ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᒥᑦ ᖃᖓᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖅ ᐃᓐᓄᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᙱᓚᐅᖏᑦᑐᖅ. ᖃᑉᓯᐊᕐᔪᖕᓄᑦ ᐃᓄᖕᓄᑦ ᐃᓐᓄᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᖃᑦᑕᖅᓯᒪᓕᖅᑐᖅ ᐃᓇᖐᓯᒪᑉᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᔪᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᐃᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᓂᐊᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᑎᑎᕋᕐᕕᖓᓂᑦ.”

ᐳᕙᒡᓗᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓂᖅ ᐸᖕᓂᖅᑑᒥᑦ ᐱᒋᐊᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᒥᕋᐃᔭᕐᕕᐅᑉ ᕿᑎᖓᓂᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᐅᑕᐃᑦ ᐃᒡᓗᒥᐅᖃᑎᒌᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᑎᑕᐅᖃᑦᑕᖅᖢᑎᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᐊᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓚᐅᑉᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᐱᖅᖁᑎᓂᒃ ᑭᐅᒪᖃᑦᑕᕐᓗᑎᒃ, ᐅᕕᓂᖓᓐᓂᑦ ᐆᒃᑐᕋᕐᕕᐅᓗᑎᒃ, ᐳᕙᖏᑦ ᐊᔾᔨᓕᐅᖅᑕᐅᓗᑎᒃ, ᓄᕙᖏᓐᓂᑦ ᐱᕝᕕᐅᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᐅᖏᔭᖅᑕᐅᑐᐃᓐᓇᕆᐊᖃᖅᖢᑎᒃ. 2021-ᒥᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᒐᕙᒪᒃᑯᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑎᑦᑎᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᒃᑕᖃᕐᓂᖓᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᑦ.

ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ ᒐᕙᒪᒃᑯᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑎᑦᑎᓚᐅᕐᒥᔪᑦ ᐳᕙᒡᓗᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᐱᑕᖃᓕᕐᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᓇᐅᔮᓂᑦ ᓄᕐᕋᐃᑦ-ᒥᑦ.