MSF has worked in Dushanbe on paediatric DR TB care since 2011. Over the years, MSF has worked alongside with the Ministry of Health developing a model of care demonstrating that it is possible to diagnose and treat paediatric TB in a comprehensive patient-centred way. Photo credit: Sabir Sabirov
Photo credit: Sabir Sabirov

Children living with tuberculosis (TB) are a vulnerable and neglected group. In 2022, an estimated 1.25 million children and young adolescents fell ill with TB, and more than 200,000 children died – that’s 1 death every 3 minutes.

High numbers of children die from TB every year in part because the disease is chronically underdiagnosed, with diagnosis reliant on tools and approaches that are insufficient and ill-adapted to the needs of children. We desperately need more research and development for TB diagnostics that are specifically designed for children, and are more effective than what we currently have.

This factsheet outlines the current scenario of diagnosing TB in children and makes recommendations to test developers for needed improvements.