Childhood TB Notifications

References in the content below refer to the PBMEF Guide.


Number of new and relapse childhood tuberculosis (TB) cases and childhood cases with unknown previous TB treatment history (0-14 years), all forms, that were notified in a reporting period.


Number of new and relapse childhood TB cases and childhood cases with unknown previous TB treatment history (0-14 years), all forms, that were notified in reporting period


Ref #
Tier Level
Core Indicator
Core Outcome
Unit of Measure
Percent of cases
Data Type
Reporting Level
Reporting Frequency

This indicator is reported from national TB program (NTP) official records. Quarterly report on TB case registration in the basic management unit.

This standard WHO indicator can also be calculated using the WHO database variables: newrel_f014 plus newrel_m014 plus newrel_sexunk014.

The number of TB cases in children is an important indicator of recent transmission in a community. Comprehensive information about childhood TB cases enables NTPs to address the needs of children with TB and mobilize appropriate resources. This indicator measures TB notifications in children ages 0-14 years to understand the risks for infection and disease that are critical for improved diagnosis and prevention. On average, among new TB cases the percentage of children is between 5%-15% in low- and middle-income countries and <10% in high-income countries.

Of the global total TB cases in 2018, 8% were children ages 15 years or younger. Overall, in 2017, 55% of estimated children with TB (0-14 years) were not reported to NTPs. Improvements in reaching children and adolescents are needed to reach the United Nations High Level Meeting targets to provide TB diagnosis and treatment with the aim of successfully treating 3.5 million children with TB, and 115,000 children with drug-resistant TB by 2022. Mandatory notification policies calling for collaboration between NTPs, other non-NTP public health facilities, and private sector facilities and pediatric associations will help ensure comprehensive and age-disaggregated reporting of TB cases. This is important for monitoring progress and focusing interventions and resources for children.

Childhood TB notifications can be analyzed as a trend over time to show the total number of TB cases in children detected within a given country. The number of childhood TB notifications can further be broken down by age categories to show the proportion of childhood TB cases occurring in children under five years of age and children between the ages of five and 14. Childhood TB notifications can be compared to the total number of TB notifications within a country to see what proportion of TB cases are from children. Globally, children represent on average about 10% of all TB cases. This could vary from country to country, but a too low or too high proportion of child TB cases would merit particular attention to the situation. A low proportion of childhood TB detection could point to the difficulty healthcare providers are having in diagnosing such cases or could also represent a lack of awareness about childhood TB among the care providers. Data can also be collected at the subnational level and used to learn from the geographic distribution of cases. Data should be reported annually at a minimum but semiannually or quarterly reporting will improve the timeliness of data for decision making. See Appendix 2 for a more detailed pathway and cascade on childhood TB screening and treatment

Indicator Visualizations