Young children are extremely vulnerable to opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis because their immune systems are not fully developed.
Children are more likely to get more severe forms of TB, including TB of the brain (TB meningitis) and TB of the body (miliary TB). Advanced forms of TB may result in permanent brain damage and require specialized care and support.
Children are particularly vulnerable and at high risk of getting TB if they were born HIV positive, are malnourished or live in poverty. Diagnosing TB in children is extremely challenging.
Moneesha Kumari is just 3 ½ years old and lives in poverty with her family in a sprawling urban slum in India. Moneesha became seriously ill with a persistent cough, high fever and alarming weight loss. Her parents grew desperately worried but had no idea it was TB. Thanks to Target TB, Moneesha was found, diagnosed, and started on her antibiotic treatment within days. Here Moneesha’s father accepts his daughter’s daily drugs from one of the project’s community health workers. Her father told us, ‘without Target TB I know my daughter would be dead’.