Dr. Gonzalo Alvarez presents Taima TB research program to parliamentarians

June 5, 2017

Dr. Gonzalo Alvarez was on Parliament Hill today presenting the Taima TB research program to the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus on Indigenous Health Research in Canada.

Taima TB Summary

The challenge

Despite the ongoing efforts of dedicated public health programs, tuberculosis (TB) incidence in Nunavut was 119.2/100,000 people in 2015, which is 26 times the overall Canadian rate. This is comparable to high TB burden countries like Kenya and Thailand.

The solution

Taima TB is a group of research projects aimed at helping Inuit in Canada stop the transmission of TB in their communities. Taima translates to ‘stop’ in Inuktut. Partners include The Ottawa Hospital (affiliated with the University of Ottawa), Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Government of Nunavut and Inuit Tapiirit Kanatami. Taima TB is led by Dr. Gonzalo Alvarez and funded by the Government of Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada) and other organizations.

Our progress

Since 2011, the Taima TB research team has worked with local partners to implement and evaluate several new technologies and innovative strategies, including:

• A new test that can diagnose TB in just two days compared to the previous procedure which often required more than a month
• A new treatment for latent TB that involves one treatment a week for 12 weeks, compared to the previous treatment that required hundreds of pills over nine months
• A targeted TB screening strategy for those at highest risk
• Community and youth-specific TB education tools

Looking forward

The Taima TB research group is working with remote circumpolar Inuit communities with high burdens of TB disease to package these strategies to into an innovative program aimed at the elimination of TB among Inuit.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

University of Ottawa: —A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

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