Childhood Tuberculosis (TB)
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What is Childhood Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.
What are the symptoms of Childhood Tuberculosis?
Cough, Unintentional weight loss, Fatigue, Fever, Night sweats, Chills, Loss of appetite
What is the global scenario like?
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates in 2012 revealed that up to 74 000 children die from TB each year and children account for around half a million new cases annually.
What is Childhood Tuberculosis‘s status in Pakistan?
Tuberculosis (T.B) is responsible for major burden on health and economics low income counties in which Pakistan is also included. Pakistan ranks sixth in the world having 1.5 million TB patients, with 250,000 new cases every year. Internationally the disease is responsible for 26 per cent avoidable deaths. The incidence rate of TB is 181/100000 and out of which 50% are AFB positive cases1. The exact figures of childhood TB in Pakistan is unknown.
How do you prevent Childhood Tuberculosis?
Infants in Pakistan are vaccinated with bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine because it can prevent severe tuberculosis in children.BCG vaccine prevents tuberculosis or TB, and it has been used since 1921 globally. While it does not provide 100% protection against TB, it significantly decreases the chances of your baby getting this serious disease.
A single dose of BCG vaccine is administered routinely at birth in Pakistan. The vaccine is administered just beneath the skin. If the child misses the dose at birth, it can be administered later on as well.