Exciting development in TB medicine for children

TB Alliance together with the Kenya Ministry of Health, UNITAID and others have released a range of new formulations of existing TB medicines tailored for children. The new medicines are easier to administer and this will hopefully increase the treatment and survival rate for children living with TB.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu, explained: “Kenya is playing a leading role in the fight against childhood TB by being the first to introduce improved TB medicines for children. Now, with the appropriate treatments, we can make rapid progress in finding and treating children with TB so we can achieve a TB free generation.”

With current treatments, caregivers have to break, cut or crush multiple pills just to create the correct dosage for a child. Due to the effort involved and the bitter taste of these pills, treatment is difficult to keep up for the required 6 months, resulting in treatment failure and sometimes even death.

The new treatment consists of improved formulations which are available in the correct doses, are flavoured and is water soluble.

According to Dr. Cherise Scott, Director of Pediatric Programs for TB Alliance: “We are proud to partner with the Government of Kenya, the first of many countries, as they work to translate the potential of these medicines into lives saved.”

From 1 October 2016, all children starting on TB treatment in Kenya will be prescribed the new medicine. “Childhood TB is a problem that can be solved when we choose to act,” commented Dr. Enos Masini, Head of Kenya’s National Tuberculosis, Leprosy, and Lung Disease Program.

For more information on this, please go to: http://www.tballiance.org/news/kenya-becomes-first-country-introduce-new-child-friendly-tb-medicines