New fruit flavored drugs to reduce TB deaths in children

TB alliance group and Unit Aid organizations announced the new fruit flavored drugs for children who are suffering from Tuberculosis (TB).

New fruit flavored drugs for TB

TB alliance group and Unit Aid organizations announced the new fruit flavored drugs for children who are suffering from Tuberculosis (TB).

The organizations recently announced that strawberry and raspberry-flavored medicines are available early next year to treat TB in children. They also added that these drugs are dispersible and palatable, simple to administer and affordable. The availability of these products is a result of a project largely funded by UNITAID.

According to the WHO, at least 1 million children become ill with TB each year and 140,000 children die of this curable disease. To date, children around the world have not yet had access to appropriate TB medicines.

The rising death toll of children with TB is alarming and the reason for this is the improper administration of daily medicines.


“Many children with TB do not complete their treatment because they have to take several bitter-tasting medicines every day for at least six months. The dosage is often imprecise as parents have to cut and crush adult-sized drugs for their children.” Said TB alliance.

They stated that from early 2016, fruit flavored soluble child-sized doses of the three major drugs used to treat TB will be available, helping to save lives.

The child is really just drinking a fruit-flavoured drink," the chief executive officer of the TB Alliance, Mel Spigelman, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"It will make it so much easier for a child and a parent or caregiver to make sure the child takes the treatment and takes it religiously for the full time."

Some 32,000 children catch drug-resistant TB each year, and it is often fatal, according to U.S. researchers.


TB is spread by bacteria and it spreads when someone with untreated TB, often a family member, coughs or sneezes. Children who survive can become blind, deaf, paralysed or mentally disabled.

Recent health surveys showed that HIV and TB often coexist together as they target the people with weak immune systems. South Africa has Africa's highest TB rate, with 400,000 new cases each year, the WHO says, two-thirds of whom also have HIV.

Generally, poorest of the poor people are often the victims of TB. The unhealthy living conditions, malnutrition and poor sanitation make them susceptible to the disease. When children catch this disease, it will be even worse.

The new child-friendly drugs are largely funded by UNITAID, which also funds HIV/AIDS and malaria treatment in developing nations and is hosted by the WHO.

The efforts being made by Unit Aid and TB alliance group for reducing the disease in the children are definitely appreciable.


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