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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Travellers are three times more likely to get TB

And they get it much, much younger.

Image: Shutterstock/konmesa

TRAVELLERS ARE THREE times more likely than white Irish people to get tuberculosis a new study has found.

Researchers from the school of medicine at Trinity College have found that members of the Travelling community also contract the disease much younger than the rest of the population.

The findings of the study, carried out in conjunction with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and the Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre were recently published in the international journal Epidemiology & Infection.

The researchers examined for the first time the incidence of TB in Irish Travellers over a 12 year period from 2002 to 2013. The research found a crude incidence rate (the number of new cases in a year) for TB in Irish Travellers that was approximately three times higher than in the white Irish-born population.

The research team also found that in Irish Travellers the average age of a TB patient was 26 years compared to 43 years in the general population in Ireland, and 49 years in the white Irish-born population.

Other studies have shown that Travellers have higher rates of meningitis and infant mortality, as well as a life expectancy of more than 10 years less than the average.

Nurul Amin from Pavee Point says the study shows the need to address the poor living conditions of many Travellers.

“There is an urgent need to address the broader social determinants of health with regard to the inequalities in education, employment and accommodation experienced by Travellers. Pavee Point looks forward to working with the HPSC in rolling out the ethnic identifier project as part of its collaborative work with the Health Service Executive.”

Read: Supreme Court reject appeal alleging discrimination against Traveller student

Read: Gay man from Travelling community shares wonderful #YesEquality letter from his sister

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