Two doctos discuss a chest X-ray result at a tuberculosis hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo by: Fardin Waezi / United Nations

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.

Read more news about development aid online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.