WHO and UNICEF issue joint statement on the use of child-friendly fixed-dose combinations for the treatment of TB in children.
Geneva ¦ 24 March 2017 - The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF issued a joint statement today, urging all National TB Programmes to replace the previously used medicines for children weighing less than 25 kg with the child-friendly dispersible TB fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) at the soonest possible time. WHO and UNICEF advise against continued usage of the old sub-optimally dosed FDCs or adult formulations (crushed tablets), which may lead to under or over-dosing, unfavourable treatment outcomes, and high likelihood of contributing to the development of drug resistance.
"If we are to end the TB epidemic, we must bring children with TB out of the shadows and ensure they are properly diagnosed, treated and cured," said Dr. Mario Raviglione, Director of the Global TB Programme at WHO. "The new fixed-dose formulations for children will offer hope for the 600 children who needlessly die of TB each day. Urgent action is needed to ensure these medicines reach those in need and rapidly improve child survival from TB."
The child-friendly FDCs were launched in December 2015 by WHO and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance). They were developed in line with the revised dosing to achieve the appropriate therapeutic levels, that was published in the WHO Guidance for national tuberculosis programmes on the management of tuberculosis in children.