THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

"Roadmap for Childhood TB: Towards Zero Deaths" launches

World leaders in the fight against tuberculosis launched the "Roadmap for Childhood TB: Towards Zero Deaths" on Tuesday, an initiative that hopes to bring the child death rate of TB to zero.

More than 74,000 children die each year from tuberculosis, a disease that is preventable by vaccine and curable. Leaders behind the initiative estimate that tens of thousands of children's lives could have been saved by a $120 million fund that would also impact those infected with TB and HIV.

The World Health Organization estimates that 10 percent of all TB cases globally occur in children under the age of 15 years old. It is estimated that the rate of prevalence could be higher because many children are undiagnosed. The roadmap builds upon the knowledge of current cases and established a plan by which to cure the infected.

"Any child who dies from TB is one child too many," Director of the Global Tuberculosis Programme at WHO Dr. Mario Raviglione said. "TB is preventable and treatable, and this roadmap focuses on immediate actions governments and partners can take to stop children dying."

The initiative is the first roadmap of its kind to track TB among children and is part of the "A Promise Renewed" initiative that began in June 2012 to increase health resources for children and help fight against disease.