Health Desk – 08 May, 2021: The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening a Guideline Development Group (GDG) to advise on updates needed to its recommendations on the management of tuberculosis (TB) in children and adolescents.
At least 1.2 million children under the age of 15 years fall ill with TB every year and an estimated 67 million are infected with TB and thus are at risk of developing TB disease in the future. Despite significant progress and greater understanding of the challenges faced in addressing TB in children and adolescents, critical gaps remain in TB case detection and provision of TB preventive treatment in this group.
The first edition of Guidance for national tuberculosis programmes on the management of tuberculosis in children was published in 2006, after which a Rapid Advice on the Treatment of Tuberculosis in Children was released in 2010. In 2014, the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme (GTB) published the second edition of the Guidance for national tuberculosis programmes on the management of tuberculosis in children. These 2014 guidelines are now in the process of being updated to incorporate new evidence and knowledge on the management of TB in children and adolescents. An operational handbook will be developed alongside the consolidated guidelines on the management of TB in children and adolescents, to facilitate implementation of the recommendations with the overall aim of improving care and outcomes for children and adolescents at risk of TB or with TB.