Kenya launches new drug to treat pneumonia in children

Written By: Margaret Kalekye

amoxicillin-dispersible tablets

The Kenyan Ministry of Health has announced that it will officially adopt amoxicillin-dispersible tablets as the first line antibiotic treatment for pneumonia in children under age five.

Pneumonia has been ranked as one of the major killers of children in Kenya, something that experts believe can be prevented.

A child under the age of five dies every 20 seconds globally due to Pneumonia while in Kenya, a huge number of children die from the same.

According to Dr. Warfa Osman, the Head, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health Unit, Pneumonia deaths can be prevented by proper nutrition, vaccination and early diagnosis and treatment using Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablets.

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As the World marked Pneumonia day Sunday, experts reveal that dispersible tablets are more affordable, hygienic and easier to administer than liquid suspensions (historically the standard first-line treatment for childhood pneumonia).

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Kenya is set to launch the Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablets which are recommended in the new WHO pneumonia treatment guidelines Monday.

Novartis Access is rolling out a new program to provide the Ministry of Health with low-cost amoxicillin dispersible tablets and will also provide pneumonia education through Familia Nawiri (our “Novartis Healthy Family” initiative in Kenya) to improve awareness among families and health providers about the disease and how best to stop it.

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So far, Novartis has delivered 100,000 treatments to the Kenyan government, and another 55,000 are in production.

These efforts, together with appropriate diagnosis and education, are part of a comprehensive solution to fight pneumonia in Kenya.

Novartis applauds the Ministry of Health’s policy change that has made it possible to make these contributions and accelerate efforts against this devastating disease.

Kenya action

World Pneumonia Day is observed on 12th November every year, to raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under the age of five; interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia; and Generate action to combat pneumonia.

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This year’s theme is: Stop Pneumonia; Invest in Child Health. Pneumonia is one of the most solvable problems in global health and yet a child dies from the infection every 20 seconds. Together we can ensure the fight against pneumonia is won.

To highlight the milestone, challenges and chat the way forward in the fight against Pneumonia, Heath Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu will join stakeholders for a breakfast meeting on Monday, 13th November 2017  and launch the new drugs.







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