This report presents the 5-year follow-up of 137 children with respiratory tuberculosis enrolled in a randomised clinical trial of two different anti-tuberculosis regimens 9HR and 2HRZ3/4RH2. Both regimens had similar cure rates, with low relapse rates and mortality. Of 134 children followed up to 5 years, 86% had normal radiographs, with more sequelae in the 9HR group (15% vs. 1.5%, P < 0.01). One patient relapsed and there was one accidental death. Short-course chemotherapy in children is safe, effective and well tolerated, and leads to excellent long-term results, with a small proportion of children left with radiological sequelae.