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.