TB treatment is long term and can be quite tasking especially for children who do not understand. The ministry of health has announced availability of a child friendly TB drugs countrywide. Kenya is the first country in the world to rollout these drugs nationally.
The new drugs which fully meet the WHO standards and guidelines are expected to greatly enhance treatment of TB in children and ultimately their survival from TB. The drugs that were previously available for children are bitter and therefore difficult for children to swallow long term.
Among the partners who oversaw the development of the new drugs are TB Alliance and INITAD.
The Kenyan CS for health Dr. Mailu says that “Kenya is playing a leading role in the fight against childhood TB by being the first to introduce improved TB medicines for children. Now, with the appropriate treatments, we can make rapid progress in finding and treating children with TB so we can achieve a TB free generation.”
Kenya has nearly 7,000 reported cases of TB in infants and children, with those under age five at greatest risk of having severe forms of TB and dying from the disease. Children often get TB from infected persons in their environment.
As a parent, you’re advised to take your child immediately to a health center if they have reduced playfulness, failure to gain weight, night sweats, cough and fever. If TB is detected in any member of the family, the other member of that household should be tested too and moreso children.
TB testing and treatment is free at all public health facilities in Kenya.