TB continues to be a major global health problem and is worse in children as they develop severe forms of the disease. A substantial number of children with TB seeking services at health facilities are not diagnosed due to the low index of suspicion by health care workers. TB in children indicates an ongoing transmission in the community because most cases occur in children who have had contact with a close relative or caregiver with TB.

 

In 2016, there were a total 75,894 TB cases notified, 6,652 (8.7%) of whom were children. Great strides have been made in TB management in Kenya including being the first country to nationally roll out child-friendly TB formulations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10-15% of total cases notified should be children; hence Kenya must improve efforts to find children with TB. TB in children can be prevented by screening all children in close contact with persons with TB and providing preventive therapy to those among them without TB symptoms below the age of five (5) years.

Fikia is a 14-month project funded by TB REACH to increase case finding among children across selected high-volume health facilities in Nairobi, Machakos, Makueni, Mombasa, Kirinyaga, Garissa, Meru, Siaya, Homabay and Kericho counties respectively, supported by Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative funded by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project aims to:

  1. Increase case finding in children.
  2. Increase initiation onto Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT) for all eligible children under five years.
  3. Improve cohort outcomes for both children on TB treatment and IPT.
Achievements to Date
  • Conducted successful county entry meetings and received support from the county governments to implement the project
  • Built capacity of over 200 heath care workers from Nairobi, Siaya, Meru, Kirinyaga, Machakos and Makueni in management of paediatric TB. This support will continue to ensure all the nine counties are trained
  • Health care workers in the implementing facilities continue to receive mentorship and capacity building to ensure that all cases of TB in children are identified and appropriate management is provided.