Australia must help protect the world’s children from TB and HIV

Image: Doctors Without Borders 

Tuberculosis (TB) preys on the most vulnerable children, the orphaned and the malnourished. TB is also a death sentence for those children living with HIV. A child living with HIV is twice as likely to die from TB than a child solely infected with TB.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 490,000 children get sick with TB each year, and up to 64,000 die as a result.

Children living with HIV already have weak immune systems, leaving them at even greater risk of TB. Despite this risk, TB prevention, treatment, and diagnostic services have not to date been routinely included with other child health services.

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Let’s mark it by calling on the Australian Government to take immediate steps to addressing the devastating effects of TB and HIV on children. 

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TAKE ACTION

1. Write a letter to AusAID’s new Global Ambassador for HIV, TB and Malaria, James Gilling, asking him to use his position to: 

-urge AusAID to prioritise funding towards research and development of new TB vaccines that are more effective for children

-encourage the Australian Government to increase investment in organisations such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria 

2. Write a letter to your local paper drawing attention to this neglected issue 

3. Write a blog on your personal perspective of this topic for the RESULTS website. 

INFORMATION

Fact & Action Sheet- November 2012