TB Alliance, an international non-profit organisation, and its partners have announced the availability of child-friendly tuberculosis medicines in the correct doses.
The improved treatments are the first to meet the dosage guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010. They are dispersible and palatable, simple to administer and affordable. The availability of the product is a result of a project largely funded by UNITAID.
According to WHO, at least 1 million children become ill with TB each year and 140,000 children die of the curable disease. To date, children around the world have not yet had access to appropriate TB medicines.
“The availability of correctly doses medications will improve treatment for children everywhere,” said Dr. Mel Spigelman, president and CEO of TB Alliance. “This is an important step towards ending the neglect that has characterised the care of children with TB for far too long.”
Over the past three years, TB Alliance has worked with manufactures to develop properly-formulated TB medicines that are easier to administer in children. In addition to UNITAID, USAID and other funders also provided support for this effort, which included work to address market barriers to ensure new treatments will reach children in need.