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TB: how many young children are wrongly diagnosed as disease-free?

Here is a compelling article published in The Hindu which talks about the real challenges in diagnosing TB in young children.  The  correspondent is a recipient of the 2013 REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership National Media Fellowship for Reporting on TB.

According to  the Revised National TB Control Programme RNTCP ,TB is one of the leading causes of mortality in India- killing -2 persons every three minute, nearly 1,000 every day. It estimates that children comprise about 12 per cent of the total TB caseload in the country. But in all probability, 12 per cent may be an underestimation of the actual contribution. According to a TB expert, the real reason for not being able to diagnose children with TB could be the non-availability of diagnostic tools and X-ray facilities in peripheral health facilities or simply that such tests were never ever conducted.

Missing out timely detection can have grave consequences. Children under five years have a greater risk compared to older children. According to WHO, infants have a “much greater” risk of developing the disease. And if those under five can progress to the diseased state “within two years of infection,” it is just 6-8 weeks in the case of infants.

To read the entire article, click here

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