Childhood TB presents specific challenges, which should be addressed with appropriate measures, including screening, diagnostics and preventive therapy. In the past year, KNCV continued to invest in the quality diagnosis and treatment of TB in children in among others Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria and Tajikistan.
In Vietnam, a new strategy on the management of TB in children was piloted and subsequently successfully scaled up. To improve access to diagnosis and treatment for children with TB, an isoniazid preventive therapy service package was introduced in four pilot provinces. KNCV was responsible for the review and supervision in 35 districts and 611 communes within the four provinces. Next we provided technical advice and assistance to the National TB Program in the roll-out of this strategy to 18 provinces.
TB among children is now incorporated into annual plans and includes the production of educational materials and including childhood TB data in routine reporting and reviews. At the community level, KNCV is supporting community health workers who are following up children who are in close contact with an adult or adolescent with newly diagnosed pulmonary TB. An evaluation of the childhood TB program in Vietnam will be finalized in 2015.
In Nigeria, KNCV helped develop the national desk guide for the diagnosis and management of childhood TB. As a result, more than 2,000 children under the age of 5 were notified in 2014.