An estimated one million children develop tuberculosis (TB) disease each year, and a further 7.5 million are exposed and in need of evaluation and treatment to mitigate the risk of developing TB. Yet, existing approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat TB either do not meet the needs of children or are not available where they are needed the most. In recent years, increased attention and research and development (R&D) efforts have resulted in incremental advances for children with TB, but much work remains to end the unnecessary sickness and death borne by families affected by TB.
The commitments made by Heads of State during the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB, held in September 2018, challenge national governments, global donors, health professionals, researchers, members of civil society and affected-communities to work together to rapidly scale up existing TB interventions and to support and undertake R&D to improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of TB among affected children and families.
This document (not a TAG publication) presents an overview of paediatric TB research efforts already underway and their limitations; and highlights priorities for future research initiatives in epidemiology, basic science, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and operational research. Also discussed are financial and other barriers that must be overcome to rapidly advance the paediatric research agenda.