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28 Feb 2019 18:15 Superior C.V.I. Register Now

Thunder Bay Event - The Fight Against Tuberculosis: Deadly and Neglected

Tuberculosis (TB), a deadly disease once known as consumption, was eradicated in much of Canada last century, and is now usually thought of as something from of the past. But TB remains a global killer: more than 4,300 people around the world die from it every day – a figure that is the equivalent of three people every minute.

Although TB can be prevented, treated and cured, 10 million people fell ill with it in 2017. Even in Canada, 1,600 cases of TB are recorded each year, with people living in northern indigenous communities disproportionately affected. In 2018, Thunder Bay itself experienced a small outbreak of TB, with several cases confirmed by public health officials. These cases are part of a growing global health crisis that is not being addressed — in large part because of indifference and neglect.

For patients suffering with TB, medical treatments are long, painful and often ineffective. In the best-case scenario, a course of treatment will last for six months. But for patients suffering from types of the disease that are resistant to first-line drugs, treatment requires five different antibiotics, with side effects that can include permanent deafness, psychosis, nausea, vomiting and pain. These regimens can last up to two years and require up to 15,000 pills and daily injections — and even then, will only cure around 50% of patients.

Despite the clear and urgent need, investments in finding new and better ways to fight TB are falling short. In the last 50 years, only two new drugs for treating the disease have been registered. But making these drugs available to patients who desperately need them has been painfully slow, leaving caregivers to fight one of the world’s worst killers with antiquated tools and outdated technology. Meanwhile, resistance to available treatments is a growing public health threat.

As the largest non-governmental provider of TB treatment in the world, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports more than 22,000 patients in 75 projects around the world. MSF is also working to accelerate research and improve the quality of and access to treatment for our patients, in some cases running our own clinical trials for newly developed medicines.

On Thursday February 28, join us in Thunder Bay for an opportunity to understand more about MSF’s work caring for patients with TB around the world – to hear our patients’ stories, and to learn about our experiences on the front lines of one of the world’s deadliest yet still most widely neglected diseases. TB is not an illness from the past. It is an ongoing public health crisis that is affecting millions of people around the world who deserve our attention, our energy and our action.

Speakers:

  • Andrew Bohonis, Logistician, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
  • Siobhan O'Malley, Nurse, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)T
  • Chair: Dr. Jason Nickerson, Humanitarian Affairs Advisor, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF); Adjunct Professor of Common Law, University of Ottawa; Clinical Scientist, Bruyère Research Institute

Superior C.V.I.

333 N. High Street

Thunder Bay, P7A 5S3

Canada

A visual screenshot of the event location from Google map