Estimating the burden of tuberculosis (TB) disease in children is difficult due to the lack of a standard case definition, the difficulty in establishing a definitive diagnosis, and the frequency of extrapulmonary TB in young children. These same features present challenges to the clinician who suspects TB in a paediatric patient. Previous National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme (NTLP) guidelines emphasised management of adult TB for control purposes.
These current guidelines have been expanded to include management of TB in children to assist the clinician in evaluating and treating children from birth to 15 years of age with suspected or confirmed TB. Age-specific considerations are included throughout, and a section on children younger than 2 years describes their unique manifestations and high risk for progression to severe forms of TB.
PAEDIATRIC TB MEDICINES IN TANZANIA
FDC for Paediatric TB medicines in Tanzania was introduced in 2006. The Regimen used is;
- 2RHZ (60mg + 30mg +150mg) and E (100mg)
- 4RH( 60mg + 30mg)
Dosing Table for New Pediatric FDCs
CHILDHOOD TB NOTIFICATIONS 2016
In 2016, 6351 (10%) of the new and relapse TB cases notified were children under the age of 15 years. Among children (under 15 years) notified, 3,054 (48%) were children under the age of 5, while 1,674 (26%) cases were children between age group of 5 -9 years and 1,679 (26%) were children in the age-group 10 – 14 years.
CHILDHOOD TB/HIV NOTIFICATIONS 2016
Testing and counselling for HIV is also done to children (under the age of 15) attending the TB clinics. In 2016 data shows that 6,194 (96%) of notified children were tested for HIV and 1,687 (27%) were HIV and TB co-infected cases. Among all the co-infected children notified, 1,663 (99%) were started on CPT and 1,589 (94%) were on or started ART at time of diagnosis.
IPT PROVISION TO CHILDREN
All children younger than 5 years in contact with a sputum smear-positive PTB patient are investigated for TB. Children with signs and symptoms suggestive of active TB are registered and treated with a full anti-TB course. If there are no signs of active TB, the children are put on preventive treatment with isoniazid for six months. In the year 2016, a total of 6,311 children in contact of smear positive TB cases were provided with IPT.