WHO gets Gates grant for child medicines research

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday it had received a $9.7 million grant from the U.S.-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for research into the production and dosage of medicines for children.

The research, aimed at increasing the low number of “child size” medicines available around the world and especially in developing countries, will be carried out in cooperation with the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF, the WHO said.

At present, more than 50 percent of medicines prescribed for children have not been developed specifically for them, and have not been proved to be safe and effective for pediatric use, according to the WHO.

In the absence of child-size medicines, healthcare workers and parents often use fractions of adult doses or prepare makeshift prescriptions by crushing adult-size tablets or dissolving parts of capsules in water, it said.

“We must take the guesswork out of medicines for children,” said Carissa Etienne, a WHO assistant director-general.

“Children are suffering and dying from diseases we can treat, and yet we lack the critical evidence needed to deliver appropriate, effective and affordable medicines that might save them,” she added.

The WHO said that diarrhea — which kills 170 children under the age of 5 every hour worldwide — could be better tackled if zinc, the key treatment for the disease, could be made available in easy-to-take child-size doses.

The research funded by the new grant will aim mainly to determine the best dosage forms for children, such as smaller tablets, of existing medicines and to develop guidelines for testing. Results will be given to the pharmaceutical industry, a WHO statement said.

The U.N. agency quoted Jaime Sepulveda, a specialist at the Gates Foundation, as saying that improving essential medicines for children was “a critical global health issue.”

“This program will help provide effective health interventions to children and improve child survival, particularly in the world’s poorest countries,” Sepulveda said.

(Editing by Tim Pearce)


Related Posts:

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An infusion of more than $630 million spearheaded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is intended to help finish the job of eradicating the crippling disease polio, officials said on Wednesday. The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rotary International charity joined with the governments of Britain and Germany to

Full Post: Bill Gates, others pledge $630 million to beat polio

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Fathers who are involved in their children’s prenatal care are more likely to be around for the long haul, whether they marry the child’s mother or not, new study findings suggest. The findings, say researchers, suggest that such early involvement — even more so than marriage, per se — is crucial

Full Post: Dad’s involvement during pregnancy is key: study

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Measles deaths have plummeted by 74 percent globally this decade thanks to a concerted effort to vaccinate children in Africa and other hard-hit regions, health officials said on Thursday. Measles deaths worldwide fell from an estimated 750,000 in 2000 — the year before the vaccination effort began — to 197,000 in

Full Post: Global effort prompts huge drop in measles deaths

By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Parents’ own chronic health problems may influence their perceptions of their asthmatic children’s well-being, a new study suggests. The study, of more than 500 children with asthma, found that those whose parents had a chronic health problem tended to miss more school days. Their parents were also less likely

Full Post: Parent health sways views of asthmatic kids’ health

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mother-to-child transmission appears to be the most common route of Helicobacter pylori infection in Japan. In The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Dr. Mutsuko Konno and colleagues at Sapporo Kosei General Hospital in Sapporo note that previous studies have suggested that children are at high risk for H. pylori acquisition and that

Full Post: Gut bacteria primarily past from mother to child

Site Navigation

Most Read



  • kinwrite.com@gmail.com