Regional workshop on child and adolescent tuberculosis in the WHO European Region

29–30 January 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark

The prevention and care of tuberculosis (TB) in children and adolescents present age-specific challenges which are increasingly recognized, but not always adequately addressed by national TB and public health programmes. TB elimination, as set out by both the Sustainable Development Goals and End TB Strategy, will only be feasible if child and adolescent TB is prioritized in national health strategies, plans and budgets. In the WHO European Region, only 25% of Member States have developed dedicated national pediatric TB guidelines.

The Regional workshop on child and adolescent tuberculosis in the WHO European Region
aims to bring together high-level representatives from countries and institutions in the Region to develop strategies that address: the childhood TB epidemic that is currently ongoing in the region; and, if not tackled, the vast reservoir of future multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB patients that will contribute to the ongoing transmission and propagation of the epidemic.

With a specific focus on young patients, the workshop will follow up on the regional implementation of commitments made in the declaration of the United Nations General Assembly’s first high-level meeting on ending TB held in 2018, and on the recommendations made through two regional workshops held in 2015 and 2017.

Objectives

Participants will:

  • learn about the new WHO headquarters guidelines on MDR-TB and the regional guidance on childhood MDR-TB, as a basis to develop common strategies and enhance national strategies to stop the childhood TB epidemic;
  • get insights on how national estimates of childhood and adolescent MDR-TB in the Region are made; and
  • develop an innovative plan to reduce the number of missed cases (i.e. propose a pilot active case-finding study in a high-burden country).

Based on a questionnaire distributed ahead of the workshop, participants will:

  • review country policies and practices in prevention, control and care of TB and TB/HIV among children and adolescents;
  • address the use of child-friendly fixed dose combinations; and
  • address reasons for discrepancies in reporting childhood TB in different age groups. A collaborative fact-finding investigation in two or three countries would produce useful insights.

The workshop will also encourage Member States to use adequate procurement systems, such as the Global Drug Facility (GDF), to procure child-friendly TB formulations to ensure low price and high-quality, and collect, publish and disseminate examples of good practices from across the Region related to contact tracing, examination and management for both DR-TB and MDR-TB.

Expected outcomes

  • Participants are updated on key changes and aspects of management and treatment of childhood TB, including those from the recently published regional guidance on childhood MDR-TB.
  • A call to action addressing key challenges and priorities for the Region is drafted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Next steps for updating current national strategic plans relevant to childhood TB are defined in line with the global End TB strategy and the regional TB Action Plan 2016–2020.