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Progress in Ethiopia

On the twelfth of march of this year, over twenty enthusiastic KNCV staff participated in the Annual City-Pier-City marathon in the Hague to raise money and awareness for the fight against tuberculosis.

This year’s event had the intended special goal to raise ten thousand euros for an innovative new project to reduce pain for children undergoing TB diagnosis. Currently, TB diagnosis requires the collection of sputum, which in the case of children can be a painful affair. Only by forcing children to cough violently, or by inserting a tube into their lungs, can sufficient sputum be collected for a diagnosis. Even this method is often unavailable, and in an attempt to avoid this painful procedure, many children are misdiagnosed.

An alternative to this method, using stool samples instead of sputum, has been developed, but the many steps listed in the guidelines make implementation impossible in the smaller clinics typically found in most developing countries. The ten thousand euros raised will fund a new project in Ethiopia, in an effort to simplify the approach into a workable method and make this painless diagnosis available to children in developing countries.

In Ethiopia, KNCV’s activities to combat Childhood TB provided a uniquely well-suited environment to test this simplified approach in the field. Future editions of KNCV Update will detail the progress made in this innovative and important project to provide painless TB diagnosis for children.