3 December 2015

Kenya: New TB Drugs for Children Unveiled

Photo: John-Michael Maas/Darby Films
New tuberculosis medication aimed specifically at children.

Young ones suffering from tuberculosis will now be treated with what the Ministry of Health and an NGO are calling child-friendly medicines.

This is part of efforts to improve treatment of the disease among children, according to the TB Alliance, an international NGO that is working with the government, among other partners, in the project.

The drugs are not new, but are improved formulations that dissolve faster. They are also flavoured to make them palatable for children.

The medicines are a fixed combined dose of three drugs used to treat drug-sensitive TB (rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide).

The new drugs are the first to meet dosage guidelines the World Health Organisation set in 2010.

"Childhood TB is a problem that can be solved when we choose to act," said National Tuberculosis Programme Manager Enos Masini.

Mr Masini added: "We need to ensure all children with TB are diagnosed and treated with the best medicines possible. I'm proud to say Kenya will adopt these new products for our children immediately and this will greatly improve our response to treating drug-sensitive TB."

To date, most children across the world are yet to access appropriate TB medicines.

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