1.3 Rationale and objectives of this operational handbook

The aim of this operational handbook is to provide practical guidance on the implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) policy recommendations on the prevention and management of TB in children and adolescents under programmatic circumstances and at different levels of the health system.

The practical guidance aims to inform the development or revision of national policies and related implementation guidance (e.g. handbooks, standard operating procedures) on the management of TB in children and adolescents. This handbook can also help countries adequately plan for the uptake of interventions to better address the specific needs of children and adolescents with or at risk of TB. It can contribute to national efforts to build capacity among national and subnational programme managers and among health workers at all levels of the health care system.

The desired overall impact of WHO normative guidance on the management of TB in children and adolescents is a reduction in the burden of TB morbidity and mortality in children and adolescents, in line with the targets included in the WHO End TB Strategy (7), goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (8) and the Political Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Fight against Tuberculosis (9). At the High-level Meeting, heads of states committed for the period 2018–2022 to successfully treat 3.5 million children and young adolescents aged under 15 years with TB and 115 000 children and young adolescents with drug-resistant TB; and to provide TPT to at least 30 million people, including 4 million children aged under 5 years, 20 million other household contacts, and 6 million people (including children and adolescents) living with HIV (9). To reach these targets, multisectoral engagement, actions and accountability are needed.

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