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MNCH, TB Practitioners Should Work Together To Prevent Childhood TB

Devex: Opinion: Tuberculosis is a forgotten priority for child health
Luis Tam, global technical lead for maternal, newborn, and child health at Management Sciences for Health

“…[Maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH)] practitioners are seldom trained and encouraged to think of TB as a childhood disease, and what to do when confronted with a potential case. Moreover, MNCH and TB practitioners usually have none or limited collaboration for patient consultation and referral. … As a global community of MNCH and TB practitioners, we need to facilitate a speedy learning of these best practices. Here are a few ways that TB programs can capitalize on existing MNCH services. 1. Improve the identification of children infected or diseased with TB who are in contact with an index TB patient. … 2. Call on existing community- and facility-based MNCH providers. … 3. Utilize community-based peer support groups. … 4. Engage existing community-based MNCH organizations. … If the global health community can identify and collectively address TB with today’s innovations and collaborations that exist today, we can prevent these tragic childhood deaths” (10/26).