24 September 2018 | New York: A new action plan outlining measures to prevent and treat tuberculosis (TB) in children and adolescents was launched today by global TB leadership in advance of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level meeting on TB.
Building on the first-ever Roadmap for Childhood TB: Toward Zero Deaths first issued in 2013, the new Roadmap towards ending TB in children and adolescents[i] now includes recommendations on how to target young people aged between 10 and 19 years, who represent a significant at-risk group for TB.
An estimated one million children fell ill with TB (10% of all TB), and 233 000 children (under 15 years) died of TB in 2017. However, little data is available for adolescents who, despite making up 1 in 6 of the world’s population, have been largely overlooked as global momentum to address TB has grown.
“The first Roadmap published 5 years ago helped place the childhood TB epidemic into the global spotlight after decades of neglect. Today, we know more and can reach out to all young people with a clearer vision of what is needed, how to deliver it jointly with all our partners, with the priority actions and investments that are urgently required”, said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme.
“Together, we can turn the tide on this hidden epidemic, ensuring timely access to care and prevention – saving young lives.”