23 December 2012, Dhaka. As per WHO report, at least 10 per cent of TB patients in the world are children and yet only three per cent of them have been detected in Bangladesh, despite being ranked sixth among the 22 High Burdened TB countries in the world. Experts illuminated this dire issue at the roundtable on “Child TB: Achievements and Way Forward”. The roundtable was organised jointly by the National TB Control Programme, Directorate of Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Daily Jugantor and BRAC at BRAC Centre, on December 22, 2012.
In his speech, the honourable chief guest Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said, “This is a timely occasion as situation demands more attention on Child TB detection and its preventions because child development is a crucial issue to our prosperity.”
Mr Rafiqul Islam Ratan, Panel Editor, the Daily Jugantor, chaired the occasion and Mr Asraful Alam Pintu, Senior Sub-Editor, the Daily Jugantor, was the moderator. Dr Ahaque Hussain, Director, MBDC, and Line Director, TB & Leprosy, and Prof Ruhul Amin, Pediatric Pulmonologist, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, were present as special guests.
Keynote was presented by Dr Mojibur Rahman, National Programme Cosultant, NTP. Paediatricians, TB experts and representatives from NTP partners were – Dr Nuruzzaman Haque, Programme Manager, National TB Control Programme, Dr K Zaman, Scientist & Epidemiologist, ICDDR’B, Dr Asif Muztoba Mahmud, Associate Professor, Respiratory Medicine, IEDCR, Dr Md Abdur Shakur Khan, Assistant Professor, NIDCH, Dr Sayeda Afrooja, Professor and Head of the Department, Paediatrics, Sir Solimullah Medical College & Hospital, Professor Dr Khan Nizamuddin, Head of the Department, Paediatrics, Shaheed Monsur Ali Medical College & Hospital, Dr Shakil Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Shaheed Sohrawardi Medical College & Hospital, Dr Vikarun Nissa, NPO, WHO, Khair Uddin Ahmed Mukul, NATAB, Dr Akramul Islam, Associate Director, BRAC Health Programme, and many others from the civil society and media houses were present in the roundtable.
In her welcome speech, Dr Kaosar Afsana, Director, BRAC Health Programme, emphasised on increasing attention and works on Child TB in the coming days.
Detection of TB among children becomes difficult when the children under 10 are unable to provide cough and intestinal juice, and as a result, X-ray and Tuberculin tests show doubtful or insufficient results. Experts emphasised on the collection of previous records, close observation on growth curves (Graphical features of Weight by Age), and routine check-up through smearing (if available), weighing, X-ray, Tuberculin test etc of TB suspect children to meet the goal. Absence of proper guidelines was the primary cause behind the below per case detection rate; it has been published in 2012 and need to be circulated nationwide to help/support the physicians for comprehensive handling of Child TB cases, they added.
The chair of the event, Mr Rafiqul Islam said, “The role of media in effective messaging and awareness build-up is well recognised; though on question of media mobilisation, we can step forward through time to time, sitting with focal media groups, targeting the respective pages in the dailies.”