Coloring the white plague: a syndemic approach to immigrant
tuberculosis in Canada
Sylvia Reitmanova & Diana L. Gustafson
− This article challenges the contemporary epidemiological models of infectious
diseases that tend to racialize and medicalize the risk of infections in socio-
economically disadvantage populations and obscure the role of social conditions
in sustaining the unequal distribution of diseases in these populations
− This theoretical article examines the racialization and medicalization of TB in the
− immigrant population.
− It uses a syndemic approach to immigrant TB
− A syndemic approach unravels social and biological connections which shape the
distribution of infections over space and time and is useful in deracializing and
de-medicalizing these epidemiologic models.
− Analyzed socio-cultural, political, historic factors to examine social factors which,
refracted through medical science, were central to the development of TB
control in Canada at the beginning of twentieth century.