In 2017, almost one million children fell ill and over 200,000 children under 15 died of tuberculosis, according to the latest WHO Roadmap. The report also identifies a previously underreported challenge, TB in adolescents.
University of Melbourne researcher Ms Kathryn Snow has estimated that about 1.8 million young people develop TB every year comprising
- 05 million 20 to 24 year olds,
- 535,000 15 to 19 year olds
- 192,000 10 to 14 year olds
“But the actual figure could actually be as high as three million,” Kathryn says.
South Asia had the highest number of new cases with 721,000, followed by sub-Saharan Africa with 534,000.
“Now that we have identified the scale of the problem, our next step is to try to understand the potential for targeting preventative measures specifically at young people in countries with intense TB epidemics,” she says.
“Health programs should consider the special needs of young people with TB, which include continuing their education, keeping their jobs and meeting their family responsibilities. These needs can be met by allowing young people to attend appointments at flexible times and by protecting young people’s privacy so that they are not discriminated against at school or at work.”
Melbourne Children’s Global Health will work with partners in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region to develop and evaluate models of care for prevention, detection and treatment of TB infection and disease in adolescents, including of multidrug-resistant TB.
- USAID media release: https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/new-roadmap-prevent-and-treat-tuberculosis-children-and-adolescents
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