The W.H.O has released an Updated guidelines for the management of TB in children and adolescents , highlighting new patient-centred recommendations for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The most recent recommendations are:
Diagnostic testing has expanded to include non-invasive specimens, such as stools.
Rapid molecular diagnostics are recommended as the initial test for TB diagnosis for children and adolescents.
Children and adolescents who have non-severe forms of drug-susceptible TB are now recommended to be treated for four months instead of six months, as well as TB meningitis, where a six-month regimen is now recommended instead of 12 months. This promotes a patient-centred approach that will reduce the costs of TB care for children, adolescents and their families.
Two of the newest TB medicines to treat drug resistant TB (bedaquiline and delamanid) are now recommended for use in children of all ages, making it possible for children with drug-resistant TB to receive all-oral treatment regimens regardless of their age.
New models of decentralized and integrated TB care are also recommended, which will allow more children and adolescents to access TB care or preventive treatment, closer to where they live.
TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, over 4 100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30 000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Ending TB requires concerted action by all sectors. On World TB Day, WHO calls on everyone- individuals, communities, societies, donors and governments to do their part to end TB.