Lovina Anthony
Sun, Jun 11, 2023 2:30 PM

Childhood tuberculosis often neglected, misdiagnosed – Experts

Top NewsEarn Max 30 CoinsπŸ’° Get coins immediately after reading this article

Childhood tuberculosis often neglected, misdiagnosed – Experts
Tuberculosis experts in Akwa Ibom State have expressed concern that the disease...

Tuberculosis experts in Akwa Ibom State have expressed concern that the disease in children is often neglected and misdiagnosed

Speaking shortly after a workshop at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) over the weekend, a pharmacist, Lucy Bernard, regretted that most coughs in children had been misconstrued as pneumonia, and some clinicians have failed to query further to send the child for proper diagnosis and treatment

"There is a knowledge gap, and childhood TB is often neglected and misdiagnosed; most coughs are seen as pneumonia often times clinicians may not want to query further, especially if it's a normal child and not HIV patient, send such child to the right diagnosis and to have right treatment," she said

On his part, the Programme Manager of the Akwa Ibom TB Programme, Dr Bassey Akpan, said, "You know, we've actually not been diagnosing enough children as we should, and this has not been good for us both as a country and as a state, and we know that the teaching hospital especially the pedestrian department is where we see a whole lot of children that are not feeling well, and it is best for the health care workers to be aware of the new trends on the management, treatment of TB." He said a lot had been done and remarkable improvement in finding tuberculosis cases recorded, noting an increment to 11 percent cases of childhood TB in the state

Also, the Head Of Department, Paediatrics, UUTH, Dr Ekong Emmanuel, said it was always difficult to diagnose TB in children as their clinical features and laboratory investigations could not be very clear

He noted that not all coughs are minor, stressing that a patient whose cough has lasted for over two weeks should go to the hospital for investigation and treatment

He said, "Making a diagnosis on children can be a bit challenging due to their peculiarities, those features that are diagnosed in adults are not so diagnosed in children, so that is why it becomes necessary for the T.B control programme in the state to discuss with us in the hospital and department seeing that most of the children in the state come to the teaching hospital

"So if you are able to make accurate diagnosis at the hospital level, it is likely going to reduce the misdiagnosis we have and also increase the treatment and also limit the debility, disability and death that could ensue if the conditions are not captured on time and treated." Speaking on the factors that lead to the misdiagnosis of TB, Dr Emmanuel said, "Some of these bottlenecks have to do with the fact that the tools like the X-ray may not be very classic and then the blood tests that should be done will show that such person has the conditions and so going by the typical treatment protocol or guidelines, there are level of those guidelines that you need to meet in terms of your clinical assessment as well as laboratory investigations and radiologic investigations which will be brought together in making the diagnosis and sometimes those things are not done." He said that despite the paucity of information from the laboratory and radiologic end, they still treat a child based on their clinical judgement, especially from experienced paediatrics.

Share content to earn coins