Many children die from tuberculosis because they are not accurately diagnosed and treated, new research has shown.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that standard tests for TB are not effective in children, who are particularly susceptible to the disease because of their undeveloped immune systems.
Internationally, tuberculosis is a major cause of disease and death with 8.8 million cases reported and 1.5 million deaths in 2010. In TB endemic areas such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and India, it’s estimated that children are approximately 10% to 15% of all cases, but only 3.5% are reported.
The study recommended that child health workers should be better trained to recognise children at risk of tuberculosis, implement prevention methods as well as ensure that adequate diagnosis and treatment is provided.