Child & Adolescent Tuberculosis

Children under 15 years old account for around 11 percent of the 10 million tuberculosis (TB) cases globally. However, only about half of these 1.1 million children were diagnosed. When treated, children with TB rarely die, but under-detection is the major reason why 250,000 children died from TB in 2018.

TB preventive therapy (TPT) is a proven and effective intervention, particularly in young children, but it remains underutilised. Only 27 percent of the 1.3 million eligible children under 5 years old received TPT in 2018.

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Child & Adolescent Tuberculosis

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Our work in child & adolescent TB

The Union works to develop, test, implement and scale up routine screening of child contacts of people with TB. We run observational studies and advocate to ensure children and adolescents are included in clinical trials that target diagnostics, vaccines and treatment of TB disease and infection.

Our projects

Child and Adolescent Tuberculosis Centre of Excellence

The Union’s Child and Adolescent Tuberculosis Centre of Excellence is a virtual network of tuberculosis (TB) professionals and organisations in the sub-Sahara Africa region, providing a community of learning and practice for childhood and adolescent TB. It currently covers Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Eswatini, Zimbabwe.

Other areas of our work in tuberculosis

You might also be interested in our work on drug-resistant TB and TB-HIV, TB-diabetes and co-morbidities.

Past work that has influenced practice

Influential projects, identifying and treating child TB

Two Union-led projects, in Uganda and four french-speaking countries, successfully developed influential models which saw local health workers trained to identify and treat children with TB as well as identifying those who would benefit from TB preventative therapy.

Members in action

Powerful resources shared at a global scale

Part of The Union membership TB section, the maternal and child TB working group has provided technical support to countries considering potential safety of intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy. As advocates, they collected stories from women around the world affected by TB in pregnancy, developed posters for the UNHLM for UNICEF and a briefing document, ‘The Dangers of TB in Pregnancy.’ These resources are available on The Union Childhood TB Learning Portal.

Child & Adolescent TB Union news