Trends in childhood tuberculosis in Zambia: a situation analysis

J Trop Pediatr. 2013 Apr;59(2):134-9. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fms065. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Objectives: To ascertain childhood tuberculosis (TB) trends, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection rates and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) prevalence rates in Zambia.

Methods: A retrospective review of Zambian annual TB notification data and National TB Programme reports for a 7 year period (2004-2011). TB trends were stratified by age and HIV status.

Results: The total number of children notified during this period with all forms of TB was 40 976. A total of 2670 of 40 976 (6%) were smear-positive cases. Notification rates of all forms of childhood TB show a decline in trends from 135 per 100 000 population in 2004, to 69 per 100 000 population in 2011.

Conclusions: Childhood TB is an important but neglected problem in Zambia highlighted by the fact that no data exists on HIV co-infection and MDR-TB. Strengthening of the National TB Programme and diagnostics services/algorithms are required to accurately define the TB burden, HIV co-infection and MDR-TB rates in children in Zambia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology*
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Notification / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant
  • Zambia / epidemiology


  • Antitubercular Agents