Videos available for new immigrants in Punjabi and other languages to learn about tuberculosis

THE BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Lung Association have created videos in six languages aimed at helping recent immigrants and travellers better understand the difference between tuberculosis disease and inactive (latent) tuberculosis, and how to prevent the disease.

The video, ‘TB Germ – A Cunning World Traveller’, is available in English, Punjabi, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean and Vietnamese, and explains what the TB germ is, how it spreads, prevention of disease, and treatment options. The release of all six videos is in time for World Tuberculosis Day on March 24.

Tuberculosis (TB) germs spread through the air from person to person when someone with TB disease in the lungs sends germs into the air by coughing, sneezing or speaking. The TB germs usually attack the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal, even though it is preventable and curable.

TB continues to be a health problem worldwide, with 1.3 million TB-related deaths occurring globally in 2012. In Canada, TB is often considered a forgotten disease, and many Canadians are surprised to hear that TB disease still exists in Canada. There has been a steady decline in the disease incidence in Canada since the 1940s but this reduction has slowed over the last several years. For most British Columbians, the risk of developing tuberculosis is very low, yet approximately 300 new cases of tuberculosis disease occur in BC each year and many more have latent tuberculosis. Since the 1990s, most of these new cases occur in immigrants who were exposed to tuberculosis disease in their birth countries.

The goal of the new, multilingual videos is to provide immigrants with a clear understanding about the risks of tuberculosis, and the steps that can be taken to protect individuals and families.

Immigrant organizations, general practitioners, nurses and others who are in contact with new immigrants or travellers are encouraged to share these videos in the appropriate language.

The videos and more information on tuberculosis can be found here: