Tuberculosis kills 140,000 kids per year—that’s 400 per day—and recently beat out HIV for the dubious title of deadliest infectious disease in the world.
But for too long, there have been no appropriate TB medicines for children. Children with drug-sensitive TB are typically treated with multiple pills intended for adults that must be split or crushed to try to achieve an appropriate dose for a child.
Splitting the pills each day for the minimum of six months of treatment, which make them taste bitter and usually results in imprecise dosing, can make the long journey through treatment even more difficult, potentially leading to the development of drug-resistant TB in children.
But there’s good news.
Our partners at TB Alliance, along with the World Health Organization (WHO), just announced the world’s first availability of TB medicines for children. They’re fruit-flavored (yum!) and easily dissolved in water. They’re also immediately available for countries to order.
Now that we have the treatments, there’s no reason we can’t wipe out childhood TB for good. We just need the political will.
So TB Alliance, WHO and others are urging people the world over to sign a petition with a simple message for leaders: Step up and commit to ending childhood tuberculosis.
The more signatures we get, the more seriously world leaders will take our plea.
Join us by signing the petition below, or head over to TB Alliance’s Take Action page to sign and learn more through a short video.