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Trends in Tuberculosis Epidemiology among Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo

DOI: 10.4236/jtr.2016.44026, PP. 235-248

Keywords: Childhood Tuberculosis, Epidemiology, Africa

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Setting: The epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) among children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is not well known. Objective: This study aimed to describe the trends in TB epidemiology among children in the DRC and to compare these trends in children and adults. Design: Data from the National TB program, the WHO Global TB Report, and a demographic survey of health in the DRC were retrospectively analyzed. The study period was from 1995 to 2014. The notification rate, absolute incidence and incidence rate of TB per 100,000 population were reported. Results: In 2014, 12,785 (12.6% of adult cases) TB cases were reported in children and 101,303 in adults. Among children, 3438 (26.89%) had PTB+; 2828 (22.11%) had PTB; and 6519 (50.98%) had extrapulmonary TB (EPTB). Children under 5 years had a lower reported prevalence of TB (184 cases). The incidence rate per 100,000 population was 10 in children and 181 in adults. The TB incidence decreased between 2010 (11.47) and 2014 (10.46). The proportion of children in overall cases of PTB+ was 4% to 5% in all districts. Conclusion: Caring for childhood TB remains a challenge in the DRC. Improved diagnostic procedures and effective training of providers who care for childhood TB are needed.


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