Addressing poverty and malnutrition, and curing adult tuberculosis are key to preventing children from contracting the disease.
These are some of the recommendations highlighted in a summary report on preventing childhood TB released by Citizen News Service on Monday (Feb. 27). The report was based on online consultations and interviews with health care providers, noted experts and parents of children with TB.
The report described TB as a “poverty disease.” It said malnutrition, overcrowded housing, lack of hygiene, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke or biomass stove smoke and proximity to people with TB, among others, put children at risk of contracting the disease.
The report also said early diagnosis and successful treatment of adult TB is important. One of the participants noted that adults with TB usually infect children, and so curing adult TB prevents childhood TB.
Other recommendations include proper waste management, infection control in hospitals, strengthening the directly observed treatment short-course program, and training of health care and community workers.
TB prevention is more cost-effective, as with any other disease. The report said this should get full support in terms of financing, human resource and political will.
The theme of World TB Day on March 24 is childhood TB. Interested organizations or individuals can participate in a second online consultation on the same topic at the CNS blog. The forum runs until March 11.
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