Pediatric TB is a leading killer of children. Despite the extent of the problem, today, there are no appropriate child-friendly TB treatments. Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, TB Alliance made significant progress in 2014 in advancing new treatments for children while continuing to fight to bring pediatric TB out of the shadows. This effort has catalyzed a multitude of stakeholders, and new child-friendly forms of today's treatments are expected to begin reaching children in 2016.
A mother recounts her daughter's battle with TB and the stigma associated with it.
TB Alliance is working with pharmaceutical partners to develop child-friendly correctly dosed TB treatments that meet internationally recognized quality standards. These manufacturers are conducting the necessary studies needed by regulatory authorities to introduce improved products for children on a global basis. Over the past year, additional partnerships have been signed to ensure a sustainable and affordable supply of the new first-line treatments.
With product launch nearing, we have intensified our efforts to ensure the impact of the new products. In collaboration with WHO and national stakeholders, we have supported the development of action plans for the scale up of responses to childhood TB in more than half of the high TB burden countries. In addition, we have partnered with Management Sciences for Health and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to identify and navigate potential hurdles to product introduction in high burden priority countries.
This work will ensure the new child-friendly treatments reach children in need.
Additionally, there has been much progress in understanding the burden of pediatric TB, which is critical to scaling the response to the issue. In 2014, we participated in a study published in The Lancet that took a new approach to quantifying the number of children with TB. This research will be used synergistically with other research efforts to improve the world's understanding of the global pediatric TB burden.
TB Alliance's mission is centered around having impact on the global TB pandemic. No one organization could do that alone, especially in the neglected area of pediatric TB. We are fortunate to have a multitude of collaborations in this area, working to achieve our collective goal. This includes the World Health Organization, UNITAID, USAID, CHAI, Desmond Tutu TB Centre (University of Stellenbosch), MSH, Stop TB Partnership Global Drug Facility, and many others. In 2014, TB Alliance also established its Pediatric Advisory Group, which gathers thought leaders from around the world to lend their voice and expertise in paving the way for improved access to better treatments for childhood TB.
Learn about how TB Alliance and partners are working to improve TB treatment for children.