Joining other buildings around the world, Victoria City Hall, the B.C. Legislature and the Capital Regional District building in Victoria will glow red March 24 as part of a global effort to shine a light on the fight against tuberculosis. (File photo)

Victoria landmarks to glow red in honour of World Tuberculosis Day

1,600 new cases of active TB reported in Canada every year

From dusk to dawn, landmarks in Victoria will be lit up in red on Sunday to mark World Tuberculosis Day.

Joining other buildings around the world, Victoria City Hall, the B.C. Legislature and the Capital Regional District building in Victoria will glow red March 24 as part of a global effort to shine a light on the fight against tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that generally affects the lungs, though other parts of the body like glands, bones, joints, kidneys, the brain, and reproductive organs can be affected too. It is preventable and curable.

Although it is treatable, recovery is a long process. It usually requires taking antibiotics for nine months, but some infections need to be treated for up to two years. It can be fatal if not treated.

RELATED: Trudeau apologizes for government’s past mistreatment of Inuit with tuberculosis

There are about 1,600 new cases of active TB reported in Canada every year, according to the federal government. In 2016, 70 per cent of cases were among foreign-born individuals and 19 per cent of cases were among Indigenous populations in Canada.

Results Canada, an advocacy group, says greater awareness is needed to ensure the Canadian government supports initiatives that work towards ending tuberculosis.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently apologized for the federal government’s management of tuberculosis in the Arctic from the 1940s to the 1960s, calling it colonial and misguided.

Inuit who were infected during that time period were separated from their families and transported aboard ships to sanatoriums in the south of Canada – disconnected from their culture and language. Many died from the disease while away from their communities and were buried without their families being told what happened or where they were laid to rest.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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