Management of childhood MDR-TB in Europe and Central Asia: report of a Regional WHO meeting

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2022 May 1;26(5):433-440. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.21.0541.


BACKGROUND: As the WHO European Region has the highest proportion of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) among total incident TB cases, many children and adolescents are at risk of MDR-TB infection and disease.METHODS: We performed an electronic survey of clinicians and TB programme personnel who attended the 2020 Regional Consultation on child and adolescent TB organised by the WHO Regional Office. We characterised access to diagnostics and drugs, and practices in the prevention and management of child and adolescent MDR-TB.RESULTS: Children and adolescents are inconsistently represented in national guidelines and budgets; child-friendly drug formulations for MDR-TB treatment are insufficiently available in 57% of countries, and 32% of countries reported paediatric drug stock-outs. The novel drugs, bedaquiline and delamanid, are accessible by respectively 80% and 60% of respondent countries. Respondents were asked how many children were diagnosed with MDR-TB in 2019, and a comparison of this number to modelled estimates of incidence (to identify the case detection gap) and WHO notifications (to identify the case reporting gap) showed substantial differences in both comparisons.CONCLUSIONS: Better representation of this patient group in guidelines and budgets, greater access to drugs and improved reporting are essential to reach TB elimination in this Region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antitubercular Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / epidemiology
  • World Health Organization


  • Antitubercular Agents