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Medical lobby cites milestone on child-friendly TB dose

Tuberculosis (TB) Alliance has announced that one million treatment doses of child-friendly medicine have been ordered by 93 countries in the three years since its introduction.

The announcement was made at the first International Global Health Security conference taking place in Sydney, Australia.

The new medicine, which was first introduced in Kenya in September 2016, is easier for caregivers to administer to affected children. The 93 countries procuring the medicine have 75 per cent of the estimated global childhood TB burden.

“TB Alliance is proud to have led the development of improved, child-friendly, fixed-dose combinations for TB, a disease that still affects more than one million children every year and kills more than 600 children each day,” said Mel Spigelman, chief executive officer of the alliance.

Previously, caregivers had to cut or crush multiple, bitter-tasting adult pills or combine incorrectly dosed formulations in an effort to achieve the appropriate doses for children. This made the six-month treatment journey difficult for children and their families.

“Reaching the milestone of one million ordered child-friendly TB treatments is fantastic, and the result of tremendous efforts from many partners,” said Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership.

She said in addition to Global Drug Facility playing a key role in product introduction through technical assistance, WHO has worked with communities, civil society and country partners to ensure increased demand at the country level.

“Now let’s move on to achieve the next one million orders,” she said.

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