Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Guidance for national tuberculosis programmes on the management of tuberculosis in children

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 41
Publication date: 2006
Languages: English, Russian
WHO reference number: WHO/HTM/TB/2006.371; WHO/FCH/CAH/2006.7



It is estimated that one third of the world’s population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB)), and that each year, about 9 million people develop TB, of whom about 2 million die. Of the 9 million annual TB cases, about 1 million (11%) occur in children (under 15 years of age). Of these childhood cases, 75% occur annually in 22 high-burden countries that together account for 80% of the world’s estimated incident cases.

In countries worldwide, the reported percentage of all TB cases occurring in children varies from 3% to more than 25%. The Stop TB Strategy, which builds on the DOTS strategy developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, has a critical role in reducing the worldwide burden of disease and thus in protecting children from infection and disease.

The management of children with TB should be in line with the Stop TB Strategy, taking into consideration the particular epidemiology and clinical presentation of TB in children. These consensus guidelines were produced to help the National Tuberculosis Programmes on the management of tuberculosis in children.