While the EU/EEA Member States continue to mark a decline in the overall notification, the report highlights the need to address childhood TB as a key component on the way towards TB elimination: Almost 40 000 TB cases in children were notified in the past decade with more than 3 300 reported cases in 2009 – clearly indicating that TB diagnosis in children remains a major challenge even within the EU/EEA. Hence, ECDC highlights the importance of eliminating childhood tuberculosis across Europe with a number of publications and activities.
ECDC has dedicated a theme website (Spotlight) on childhood TB highlighting key messages on childhood TB. Key findings from the TB surveillance report, a video and a documentary produced in collaboration with Euronews (airing on TV on 21 March) will be included in this Spotlight as well.
In addition, in the light of World TB Day on 24 March, ECDC in cooperation with the Stop TB Partnership is hosting an international meeting on childhood TB in Stockholm on 17 and 18 March 2011. In a joint effort to highlight the current global childhood TB situation, ECDC Director Marc Sprenger will reflect on the challenges of childhood TB in Europe. The conference aims at a concerted advocacy approach to make the voice of the children heard.