Sent to CBC, The Current, re the first interview on May 8th (link not yet working).
“It’s not fair that TB is still in Canada.” One Nunavut woman on life with the disease.
MY FEEDBACK TO THE CBC:
Jen Skerritt,Winnipeg Free Press, did a 6-part series on tuberculosis in 2009.
There are shocking statements and facts, for example in this one: (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4394).
I offer one excerpt, but urge you to read the article. Nothing has changed.
“In 1937, TB officials noted that overcrowded homes and poor living conditions on reserves contributed to the high rate of disease among First Nations. In 2009, as many as 18 people are crammed into three-bedroom houses at Lac Brochet.
The community recorded some of the highest TB rates in the world – more than 600 cases per 100,000, more than 100 times what it should be. By comparison, the national rate in Canada is five cases per 100,000. In developing countries such as Bangladesh, the rate is slightly below 400 cases per 100,000. . . .”
Canadians neglect other Canadians at their own peril. Disease organisms travel invisibly. Skerritt’s article reveals that we are kept largely in the dark. My experience (2005) with the disease (educated middle class urban white privileged, living a healthy life style) reinforces what Skerritt documents. The disease is not contained “in the North”, far from it.
We have a dysfunctional Health Canada; if they were doing their job, your guest would not have been on the radio.
We are a population that suffers from ignorance; we do not understand that we are an inextricable part of a larger whole. My experience is ample evidence: it is worth the while of all of us to pitch in and help as we may.
I read back in 2005 that 30% of the population walks around with the TB organism; I think it’s like the HIV organism. You can carry it all your life, your immune system if healthy, will hold it in check. It’s why societies have learned to be careful with dead bodies. The immune system is gone, organisms like tuberculosis can multiply in wild abandon in the fertile fields of the corpse.
Our malaise will not be cured by more drugs. The evidence is clear. I am old enough to remember the Tuberculosis van that came to every distant community in Saskatchewan (maybe not First Nations communities?). It was pre-emptive action to identify, isolate and care for the community and its members. My grandmother-in-law when a young Mother, lived for 2 years in a TB sanitorium, recovered and lived robustly to age 84. Tuberculosis “disappeared”, hence my disbelief when I was told I had TB, not yet contagious.
There is NO NEED to become afraid to breathe the air because we might contract TB . . . IF we would just get to work helping to look after fellow Canadians. The Government has known for 100 years about TB in First Nations communities. Big Pharma is influential in Health Canada and in our Universities. They “care” about profits. Our faith is misplaced if we think “things will change” under the current regime. . . . 100 years, give me a break.
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For my own record:
From: Skerritt, Jen
Sent: February 21, 2012
To: Sandra Finley
Subject: RE: TB
Thanks for your note. I haven’t covered health for more than a year, but I can tell you that the series prompted parliamentary hearings on TB, and the federal government pledged to create a new action plan on TB.
I just pulled up the latest TB stats (from Nov. 2011) and there were more than 100 reported cases in Manitoba between January and November last year.
I hope this helps answer your question !
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From: Sandra Finley
Sent: Sat 2/18/2012
To: Skerritt, Jen
Subject: RE: TB
Hello Jen Skerritt,
I believe I congratulated you back in 2009 when your series of articles on TB ran in the Wpg Free Press.
What was the outcome? Did things get better?
A village in Guatemala might have TB in its midst. I was asked for my input.
I included postings of 3 of your articles because they make the case so well. See appended.
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IMPORTANT: I am not a medical doctor. Most allopathic doctors will disagree with me. I am providing to you my own personal experience. No doctor can argue with that.
I worked as a member of a 3-person team with the head of TB Control and with a naturpathic doctor.
ALSO IMPORTANT: my case was diagnosed early in its development, before it became contagious.
- Dealt with things that, unbeknownst to me, were weakening my immune system.
- Took/did things to boost my immune system.
A quick message on “the cure”:
– The community should not let itself get afraid and panicked. Fear is a great stressor that will weaken their ability to regain health. Everyone in their community will be healthier if they deal with this together.
FROM MY POINT-OF-VIEW, your friend is on the right path (resistant organisms). But the non-drug approach is not straight-forward and not without pitfalls.
The community has alternatives:
- Use the drug protocols
- Be mindful of resistant organisms which means trying some non-drug approaches with some people
- Other ideas they may figure out themselves
In order for a non-drug approach to work – if it can work – – there has to be a buy-in from the community – – for example, people need to agree to be quarantined if their case is contagious.
If the community chooses a non-drug approach, they should know why they are NOT choosing the drug approach.
I would recommend that, as a first step, the community discuss the drug approach in detail – what they know. Add to it the following, what I know, and other sources of info.
The second step would be to consider the non-drug approach – – what they already know, coupled with what has worked for others.
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I had an active case of TB, diagnosed before it became contagious. The old doctor who was head of TB Control in Saskatchewan at the time was agreeable (gave his encouragement) to trying a non-drug approach because the TB wasn’t yet contagious. We had time. If it didn’t work, I could still go on the drugs.
I was motivated to experiment, and as I discussed with the doctor :
For the reason you cite (development of resistant organisms) the drug approach to TB is not the best approach, the way I see things. Nature’s organisms will always evolve so as to survive the current poison we use to kill them. That is exactly what is happening – – the community you refer to in Guatemala is experiencing it.
This posting includes a list of countries where drug-resistant TB has evolved. (By 2005)
The problem is that new drugs, in order to combat the disease have to become more and more toxic, parallel with the more virulent organism. We arrive at a point where “the cure” is temporary AND toxic to the point that it does great harm to the human patient, too.
Neither do I think it is rational to develop more and more expensive drugs, when the people afflicted by the disease are largely people with compromised immune systems BECAUSE OF poverty. As the Canadian example illustrates so well – – tuberculosis has been an identified and serious problem in First Nations communities for more than a hundred years. Alarms re-surface periodically through the years. NOTHING changes, except that the risk for everyone increases.
People are foolish if they think the disease can be contained within distant communities, in local shelters for the homeless, addiction treatment centres, and hospitals. Which is, in fact, where TB is growing in Canada. But we prefer “hush”, to dealing effectively with the disease, which means dealing with racism and poverty.
It assumes that we are incapable of developing some other way to combat the organism.
The TB programme does not serve the patient because the drugs do not address what is at the root of the health problem. The drugs might provide a fix. But in time, whatever is underlying (causing weakened immunity) is likely to manifest in some other form of ill health. There is a good chance that the TB patient will have continuing health problems and a reduced life span.
Keep in mind that a significant percentage (30% is the number I’ve seen) of people walk around with the TB organism; it is not a problem for them because their immune system keeps it in check. Our insides are full of little creatures, some good, some not-so-good.
As mentioned, I worked as a team with an allopathic doctor, head of TB Control (regular check-ups) and a naturpathic doctor.
My case of TB demonstrates: if we neglect poverty (where TB resides) we do it at our own peril. TB is on the rise, it will spread to the not-poor.
Also, the drug-company efforts to find the “next cure” are immoral. They use people in 3rd world countries to test their new concoctions. The Government of Nigeria brought criminal charges against Pfizer for killing Nigerians who were used for drug testing. The case was settled out-of-court.
Here is the information I have circulated (as of 2009) regarding tuberculosis.
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4372 2005-06-02 Health, Follow-up on: I have tuberculosis. Includes incidence and history.
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4374 2005-06-23 Tuberculosis – TB patient jailed and other articles
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4381 2005-10-28 Related: pharmaceuticals in h2o supply, resistant organisms, myco toxins, Tuberculosis
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4369 2007-06-01 Tuberculosis story improbable ?? Also, Nigerian Government brings criminal charges against Pfizer.
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4394 2009-10-31 Tuberculosis explodes on northern reserves
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4397 2009-11-03 ‘Things are falling apart’, number of TB cases in Manitoba is on the rise, . . .
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4390 2009-11-07 Tuberculosis The Forgotten Disease – Part 6 – Winnipeg Free Press.htm
http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=1105. 2009-11-19 H1N1 (or nukes or gmo’s or energy) in the context of “Selling Out”: the larger issue. Immune systems. TB. Constant Gardener.
(For the last posting, see item #5. Also #6, the Nigerian case. It includes reference to the book/movie “The Constant Gardener” which is all about Big Pharma’s interest in tuberculosis.)
THE QUESTION ?
The approach used was: why didn’t my immune system deal with the TB organism? (many healthy people carry the organism, it doesn’t become active)
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To: Sandra Finley
. . . A friend of mine is working with people in Guatemala and they are experiencing possibly an outbreak of Tuberculosis. I thought that you told me that you had TB once in your lungs and had treated it herbally? If so, can you tell me what you used? My friend would be very interested in this, as sometimes the people don’t use the medication properly and then the disease is drug resistant.
Thanks for your help!