Statistics show that children and young adolescents aged less than 15 years represent about 11% of all people with TB globally. This indicates that 1.1 million children and young adolescents aged under 15 years fall ill with TB every year, and more than 2,25,000 of them lose their lives.
The World Health Organization have come up with updated guidelines on the Management of tuberculosis in children and adolescents. The guidelines include new recommendations that cover the diagnostic approaches for TB along with shorter treatment for children with non-severe drug-susceptible TB. A new option for the treatment of TB meningitis, the use of bedaquiline and delamanid in young children with multidrug- and rifampicin-resistant TB and decentralized and family-centred, integrated models of care for TB case detection and prevention in children and adolescents.
The main aim of the introduction of this module is to reduce the burden of TB morbidity and mortality in children and adolescents, in line with the targets included in the WHO End TB Strategy, goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Political Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis.
The new recommendations are also available on the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme's Knowledge Sharing PlatformAn operational handbook on tuberculosis, Module 5: Management of tuberculosis in children and adolescents was published by the WHO. This handbook is a practical implementation and complete guide to TB. It covers the full cascade of care, including TB screening, prevention, diagnostic approaches and treatment of TB, as well as special situations and models of care for TB service delivery.
The consolidated guidelines are being released as part of a modular series of WHO guidance on TB and are accompanied by a complementary operational handbook. The new recommendations are also available on the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme's Knowledge Sharing Platform.
"Tuberculosis can be treated if detected at an early stage," said a TB physician from Guwahati. It was added that it is extremely necessary to continue the prescribed medication for six months.
Since the publication of the WHO Guidance for national tuberculosis programmes on the management of tuberculosis in children " the second edition in 2014, new recommendations have been published in WHO guidelines and other policy documents on TB prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, management and models of care. Among these recommendations, many of these are also applicable to children.