EGPAF Confronts the Tuberculosis Epidemic in Children
Worldwide, Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of the top 10 leading causes of death. In 2017, there were an estimated 10 million people living with TB throughout the world.
In 2017 alone, TB took the lives of an estimated 1.6 million individuals; 15% of whom were children under the age of 15. Compared to adults, children infected with TB are more likely to become sick and die from the disease and yet 55% of the estimated one million children who become sick with TB each year are undiagnosed or unreported.
The link between HIV and TB is well documented; TB is the most common opportunistic infection in people living with HIV and HIV is a leading risk factor for contraction of TB. The impact of HIV-TB co-infection can be even more dramatic in children – co-infected children have higher rates of mortality than those with TB infection alone.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks to end global pediatric HIV/AIDS through prevention and treatment programs, research, and advocacy. Due to the overlapping epidemiology of TB and HIV and the mutual benefits of a coordinated response, EGPAF has scaled-up adult and childhood TB identification, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment through integrating TB into our existing supported maternal and child wellness and HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. We have enhanced TB case identification and access to prevention and treatment through community engagement on TB and through recruitment of clinicians and training of health workers on how to identify and manage TB within and outside the context of HIV. Through the Catalyzing Pediatric TB Innovations (CaP TB) project, EGPAF will further its integration model, and support access to more sensitive diagnostic technology and newer, child-friendly TB treatment formulations (for both latent 3and active TB) in nine sub-Saharan African countries and India.