Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most urgent global health challenges in Africa and Asia, where CHAMPS works. It is the ninth highest cause of death worldwide, and presents a special threat to young children, especially children under the age of two, and children suffering from malnutrition or a compromised immune system. The World Health Organization’s 2016 Global TB Report estimates that one million children (<15 years) currently suffer from TB worldwide and that more than 210,000 die from the disease each year.
These estimates are considered by many experts to be too low. Even though TB is a serious threat, it often goes unrecognized due to non-specific symptoms and its difficulty to diagnose in children. If a child dies from TB without proper diagnosis, inaccurate conclusions about the cause of death are drawn, which results in underreporting of TB.