(c)WHO/Friedman

To mark World TB Day 2013, the Sentinel Project on Paediatric Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis and Treatment Action Group released a collection of 30 stories from 30 countries that identify what the TB community needs to do to achieve zero TB deaths, new infections, and suffering.

As the release states, the collection of stories illustrate the problems we collectively face with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in children. The stories reveal the widespread problems of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of DR-TB while also bearing witness to the courage of the children who are fighting for their lives against DR-TB.

Over the past 10 years, 40,000 cases of childhood TB were reported in the EU alone, indicating that TB in children remains a major challenge even with the European Region. A selection of the stories in the publication reflect this trend with stories from Moldova, Italy, Sweden, Belgium.

All of the stories in this collection, both from within the EU and further afield, are testament to the work that remains to be done in ensuring that TB is eradicated once and for all and making sure that children across the world are able to live the carefree lives they deserve.

Currently, children are going undiagnosed because of a lack of child-friendly diagnostic tools and there are also no child-specific TB drugs. There is an urgent need for both improved child friendly diagnostic tools and drugs. These are only possible with improved commitment and increased funding. We urge our EU leaders to act now.

You can read the stories, We Can Heal: Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, Care and Support: Addressing Drug-Resistant TB in Children, here.