Think TB Is a Disease of the Past? Think Again!

admin — September 20, 2011 – 4:04 pm

ACTION Releases Eye-Opening Report on Children & TB
Children and Tuberculosis: Exposing a Hidden Epidemic   

ACTION’s enlightening analysis of the link between the burden of tuberculosis (TB) and the world’s most vulnerable children — those who are malnourished, orphans, or living with HIV sheds light on a neglected epidemic. The report, Children and Tuberculosis: Exposing a Hidden Epidemic, is a reminder that TB is not a disease of the past and remains a leading killer, especially of children whose underdeveloped immune systems leave them particularly susceptible.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 9 million people become sick with TB each year.1 At least 10-15 percent of these cases are in children under 15 — but the percentage is probably much higher, because childhood TB is under-reported.2 Despite these statistics and how long TB has been a known threat, we have yet to develop truly effective diagnostic tools, vaccines, or drugs specifically with kids in mind.

Dr. Jeffrey Starke, a leading TB specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital, stated that childhood TB “is a fundamentally different disease than adult tuberculosis. Its proper diagnosis, treatment, and prevention require specific planning and resources. We must consider the unique nature of childhood TB if we’re to successfully eliminate TB anywhere in the world.”

It is through this eye-opening report that ACTION and our partners hope to call attention to the immediate need to stop neglecting TB and increase funding and research for this deadly but preventable disease to save children’s lives.


1 WHO (2010). Global Tuberculosis Control 2010. Geneva, World Health Organization.

2 Swaminathan, S. and Rekha, B. (2010). “Pediatric tuberculosis: global overview and challenges.” Clinical Infectious Diseases Suppl 3:S184-94.


Learn More

Read Report

Fact Sheet


Our Allies in the Fight Against Childhood TB


World Vision

World Health Organization

Stop TB Sponsorship

TB Alert

Child’s Dream


Share Your Story

We invite you to join us by sharing your stories related to children & TB — what you, family, or friends have experience or what you’ve witnessed in your advocacy — in the comment section below. Your story will appear here as well as on our ACTION Facebook page. Just like in our offline advocacy, we hope these stories will inspire action in our communities to help fight TB.