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 Canada's International Role

 Mutual Assistance Program

During the International TB Conference of 1961, held in Toronto, members of the IUAT adopted a plan called the "Mutual Assistance Program". Although developed countries such as Canada had, by this time, begun to win the fight against TB, it was recognized that in order to keep any level of control on TB internationally, special support would have to be given to less developed countries where TB rates were still high. The purpose of the program was "to mobilize and to strengthen the voluntary tuberculosis movement in all parts of the world". Thus moneys from Canada were used to help establish and maintain local and national anti-tuberculosis organizations.

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Once this plan had been adopted, the Canadian Lung Association decided to adopt a particular region, so support was focused on Asian countries. One percent of all Christmas Seal moneys raised by each provincial Lung Association was earmarked to go to the Mutual Assistance Program. Between 1963 and 1983, nearly $1 Million went to this program from Canadians. Within a few years, additional participation came from the government's Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

In many of these countries TB statistics were not available, so one of the first tasks of these voluntary organizations was to work with their national governments to assess the total impact of TB. Lack of funds was not often the only problem facing TB fighters in undeveloped-nations, but political instability was also a factor. Among newly-emerging governments, health programs are not usually a top priority. Thus, these voluntary organizations could help by motivating the population and providing public education.

Projects funded by the Union under this program, with partial or full funds from Canada, took place in:

  • Malaysia (1965-1983, 1966-1975)
  • Sri Lanka (1966-1969, 1975-1977)
  • Pakistan (1976-1977)
  • Nepal (1976-1982, 1985)
  • Indonesia (1969-1983)
  • India (1963-1969)
  • Bangladesh (1972-1981)
  • Thailand (1978-1982)
  • South Korea (1977-1979)
  • Ivory Coast (1965)
  • Africa (1968-1969)
  • Lagos (1974)
  • Togo (1985)
  • Peru (1985)
  • Canada (1985)