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Plan to wipe out tuberculosis in children launched

Health officials have launched a comprehensive plan to end tuberculosis in children worldwide which results in more than 74,000 deaths every year.

The Roadmap for Childhood TB: Toward Zero Deaths is a joint effort by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, the STOP TB Partnership and its partners which includes TB Alert.

The roadmap reckons that these lives could be saved by spending US$120 million a year and identifies 10 priorities that include treating children preventively if family members are already infected and training workers to spot the disease in children.

Health experts say tuberculosis in children is often overlooked because there isn’t a reliable diagnostic test and its symptoms are similar to other childhood illnesses.  The WHO estimates that TB infects 500,000 children and is the second leading killer among infectious diseases after AIDS.

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  • We need people – people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership

  • We cannot win the battle against AIDS if we do not also fight TB. TB is too often a death sentence for people with AIDS. It does not have to be this way. We have known how to cure TB for more than 50 years. What we have lacked is the will and the resources to quickly diagnose people with TB and get them the treatment they need. Nelson Mandela

  • I am very impressed by the work done by TB Alert, that is why I wanted to spread the message...I am one of those that did think that TB had been eradicated...and suddenly it is back in a very big way! Baroness Joan Bakewell, explaining why she supports TB Alert

  • TB is the child of poverty – and also its parent and provider. TB Alert's Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  • TB Alert are passionate in their work to stamp out TB in the UK and alleviate the problems of people with TB. Alan Higgins, Director of Public Health, Oldham

  • TB Alert allowed me to regain a purpose to live. People who listened, understood and never judged. I am now proud to be part of the team which is able to offer peer support to others. Steve, TB Action Group member

  • TB Alert UK respects partnership work. Chennupati Vidya, President  of TB Alert partner, VMM