Lack of knowledge in the management of pediatric Tuberculosis (TB) disease among the people, more especially in the rural areas, has been singled out as a big challenge which is putting more children at risk of developing the disease.
This has been disclosed during a one-day orientation meeting with different media houses in management of child TB, which was organized by the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in conjunction with the Facilitators of Community Transformation (FACT) held in Blantyre on Thursday.
During the meeting, journalists were urged to write and air more TB related stories that promote the caring of children.
EGPAF Communications Officer, Prince Henderson, said as a foundation they are concerned with cases of Pediatric TB.
He said many stake holders put much emphasis on adult TB while ignoring child TB who are 5 years and below.
Henderson said: “We are concerned with the pediatric TB because many people are not aware of it but cases are there across the country but usually, we advocate for adult TB so now we want to urge the media to go out and right stories that promote care for a child.”
On his part, Facilitators of FACT Director of programs, Dr. Benjamin Azariah Mosiwa, said there are three groups of children who are at high risk of suffering TB and these include those who are malnourished, born with HIV and those who are exposed to TB.
“Any child of 5 years and below who lives with an elder person in the house who has been found with TB, then that child must be screened at the hospital and if they don’t have active disease then they are put on preventive medication,” he said.
Taking his turn, Care and Treatment Officer for National TB Control Program, Dr. Kuzani Mbendera, said recently the country has introduced advanced techniques of diagnosing TB including in children.
According to Dr. Mbendera, a number of TB cases that occur per year have declined in the country citing the period between 2015 and 2021 the cases have gone down by 26% and out of these 9% are children.