New TB drugs to be made Available for Drug-Resistant Children

World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended Bedaquiline, a drug for patients with MDR-TB, for children aged six years and above. It also recommended a new drug called Delamanid, for children above three.

If adopted by the government, these recommendations could help scores of children infected with Multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). “The expansion of indication for Bedaquiline and Delamanid should be swiftly incorporated by the Central TB division’s MDR-TB committee into the Indian guidelines,” said Leena Meghaney from international NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Dr Vikas Gawal, a city based chest physician said that presently, children with MDR-TB and extremely drug-resistant (XDR-TB) are given injections for a period of six months, and it is a huge challenge to keep them adhered to treatment.These children are often malnourished and underweight,” he said.

Both Bedaquiline and Delamanid are new drugs that children were not exposed to before.

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