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Public health action to address tuberculosis in homeless shelter settings: A curated list

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a public health issue in Canada. While there is currently Canadian guidance on TB prevention and control through various public health programs and settings, there is often a lack of information for a wider determinants or equity-based approach to addressing TB in homeless shelters as the primary public health setting.

Shelters as a catalyst for tuberculosis (TB)

Temporary housing shelters are a place where homeless and street-involved populations live in communal and transient environments. Because of this, shelters are also a setting where public health needs to attend to the role to address TB transmission risk and control, as well as the health inequities that homeless populations experience.

The NCCDH and National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) have produced this curated resource list to support public health TB programs to develop policy and interventions on TB prevention and control. The resources in this list specifically apply to public health TB action in emergency and short-term group housing shelter settings.

This list includes resources that provide general guidance for TB prevention and elimination efforts in Canada as well as Canadian and international guidance and recommendations to public health TB programs working in urban homeless shelter settings. The list also includes case examples of promising TB elimination initiatives in shelter settings and highlights several key TB resource repositories and their contents related to addressing TB in emergency and short-term housing shelters.

Use this resource to:

  • facilitate discussion about public health planning to address TB risk and management in emergency and short-term housing shelters;
  • support collaboration between public health, shelter staff and community organizations that work with communities experiencing homelessness and health inequities; and
  • develop a process to improve follow-up with shelter residents after they leave that setting, which will improve maintenance of necessary interventions and address the root causes of the inequities they face.


View other Curated Reading Lists


Related resources

Public Health Speaks: Tuberculosis and the social determinants of health (2014)

Blog post: “Equity-focused public health practice as a strategy to tackle TB” (2017)

Establishing a holistic framework to reduce inequities in HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, and tuberculosis (2010)

Canada communicable disease report: Social determinants of health (2016)

National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease – Tuberculosis project page


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health and National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases. (2020). Public Health Action on Tuberculosis in Homeless Shelters: A Curated List. Antigonish, NS: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, St. Francis Xavier University; Winnipeg, MB: National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease, University of Manitoba.

Tags: Housing, Infectious disease, Modify and orient interventions, Partner with other sectors, Other National Collaborating Centre, Document, Curated Reading List, Report / Document