The "Great White Plague" was the name used to describe tuberculosis. To fight the highly contagious disease the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League was formed in 1911. Under its auspices Fort Qu'Appelle Sanatorium, pictured, was opened in 1917 to provide rest and fresh air. But the cure was long and tedious; few could afford to remain until they were healed. So in 1929, through the League's urging, Saskatchewan was the first province to make the care and treatment of tuberculosis free of charge.
The Associated Canadian Travellers (ACT) Clubs across Saskatchewan have tirelessly supported lung health since 1934, contributing over $2.8 million to support the activities of The Lung Association in our province and helping Saskatchewan residents to breathe easier.
Early in our history when the TB epidemic was the silent killer in Saskatchewan and Canada, The Lung Association, then known as the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League, toiled alongside service organizations to combat the white plague.
In 1902, twenty years after Robert Koch discovered the tuberculosis germ, representatives from many countries met in Berlin to discuss how tuberculosis could be eliminated. This was a very courageous undertaking as tuberculosis was still the leading cause of death at the time.
Dr. Gilbert Sersiron, of Paris, France suggested that it would be appropriate for this endeavour or “crusade” to adopt the emblem of another crusader, the Duke of Lorraine. Godfrey of Bouillon who used the double-barred cross in 1099 which was itself a variation of the Jerusalem or Patriarcha, Cross.
Dr. Sersiron’s recommendation was adopted and the double-barred cross became the world-wide symbol of the fight against tuberculosis.