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Childhood TB

Challenge

More than 27,000 children with TB go undetected annually in Bangladesh, ranked as the 7th highest TB burden country in the world. A majority of these undiagnosed child TB cases seek care at the large urban hospitals but are missed or not notified due to lack of systematic screening and notification system in place.

Moreover, sputum based testing is difficult to perform on children, since majority are misdiagnosed with other childhood illnesses. The absence of facilities and trained staff to screen children with “non-specific clinical manifestations” leaves a large number of children with untreated TB.

In order to cater childhood TB within existing health infrastructure of Bangladesh, there is a need to introduce a program which is specifically designed to meet the needs of children with TB.

Our Approach

IRD Bangladesh, funded through Challenge TB and in collaboration with the National TB Control Program is piloting a new program specifically designed for children with TB at 6 tertiary hospitals in Dhaka and Sylhet.

The program aims to screen children for TB at OPD’s and establishing a linkage between children and their caretakers with well-trained medical officers. It will also provide children with TB an easy access to appropriate diagnostic testing and treatment; thus addressing “non-specific manifestations” of childhood TB.

In order to ensure accurate patient follow up and data quality, innovative mobile health technology and electronic medical record systems has been integrated within the program. IRD Bangladesh is investing in customized communication tools that target both children and parents to increase awareness and generate more demand for childhood TB services.

Impact

The program expects to find and treat 8,500 children with presumptive TB and link diagnosed patients to appropriate care and support in 2017.

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221740096_Intervention_to_increase_detectio n_of_childhood_tuberculosis_in_Bangladesh

http://www.tractionproject.org/research-areas/disease- control-tuberculosis/scaling- management-childhood- tuberculosis-bangladesh