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March 22, 2005
Public Health initiatives mark World STOP Tuberculosis Day
Toronto Public Health is collaborating with community partners to promote
awareness of tuberculosis (TB) on March 24, World STOP TB Day.

TB remains a global concern. Eight million people around the world are
diagnosed with the disease annually. Although the rate of TB in Toronto
continues to fall slowly, 370 to 400 cases are reported yearly. This
represents 24 per cent of cases reported annually in Canada.

"Toronto is an international city and our TB situation reflects the global
picture," said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Director of Communicable Disease Control and
Associate Medical Officer of Health. "That’s why Toronto Public Health is
working closely with its partners to control and reduce TB."

Over 90 percent of people who develop active TB in Toronto were born outside
Canada, although they may have been here for many years. Toronto Public Health
works with community groups and settlement agencies to increase awareness of TB
and to ensure people get timely treatment.

The City’s homeless population is also at higher risk for TB, although this
group accounts for less than five per cent of cases each year. Toronto Public
Health continues to work with local community agencies, the provincial Ministry
of Health and Long Term Care, Toronto Shelter, Housing and Support Division and
local and international experts to prevent and control TB in this vulnerable

As part of ongoing health promotion initiatives, Toronto Public Health is
providing TB information and resource packages to emergency and infection
control departments in acute care hospitals and to approximately 2,200
physicians to ensure they have the most current TB information. Toronto Public
Health also provides educational sessions for new immigrants and refugees
through English as a Second Language and Language Instruction for Newcomers in
Canada programs, as well as shelter residents and staff.

For more information on World STOP TB Day, visit

Media Contact:
Gil Hardy, Communications, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7873



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