WHO launches strawberry-flavoured tuberculosis medicines for children

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Tuberculosis medicines will now be out on stands with a zany strawberry flavour and is targeted to help affected children globally

On December 3, 2015, TB Alliance, a non-profit organization, announced the launch of strawberry-flavoured tuberculosis (TB) medicines for children.

The statement said that children suffering from TB were more likely to survive the world’s most deadly disease if they took these flavoured medicines. These flavoured pills will hit the stands by early 2016.

Most children often leave their doses mid-way because they have to take several bitter tasting medicines daily for at least six months. The dosage is also sometimes imprecise since the tables are cut and crushed.

Such children fall ill again, often with hard-to-treat ‘superbugs’ strains.

According to the WHO estimates that in 2014, TB killed 1.4lakh children and 1.37 million adults. However, the lack of market-led incentives has hindered the development of drugs for children.

In fact, India has the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world with 2million annual cases. The study also estimates that around 40 per cent of the Indian population is infected with the tuberculosis bacteria. In fact, infants and younger children are susceptible to developing life-threatening forms of tuberculosis.

Therefore, order to overcome this problem TB Alliance also stated that these medicines would be released as soluble child-sized medicines that can be dissolved with water. Consequently, the affected child will simply be taking a strawberry-flavoured drink.

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj