Statement highlights importance of paediatric treatments
At the 142nd Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board, MMV and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) delivered a joint statement emphasizing the importance of paediatric formulations of treatments for malaria, other poverty-related diseases and neglected tropical diseases, as part of a comprehensive and impactful approach to child health.
At the Session, delegates discussed the WHO Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016–2030. The strategy is a roadmap to achieve the right to the highest attainable standard of health for these vulnerable groups, with a special focus on early childhood development.
The strategy includes, among other topics, the ongoing work of WHO, in collaboration with UNICEF, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the Action Network for Early Childhood Development to draft a global framework on “Nurturing care for early childhood development”.
The MMV/DNDi joint statement advocates inclusion of research and development of child-friendly medicines, as well as access to and uptake of these essential interventions, in this forthcoming global framework.
The statement was delivered by Dr Silvia Ferazzi, Advocacy Director, MMV, on behalf of the two organizations.
Honorable Members of the Executive Board,
On behalf of Medicines for Malaria Venture and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, I wish to thank you for the opportunity to comment on the agenda item 4.3 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030), early childhood development.
The mortality of children under five has been halved during the past two decades. This achievement is also due to progress in the fight against deadly diseases affecting these children, more effective medicines and a continued effort to ensure better access to them. We must persist in these efforts and continue to develop better paediatric treatments for HIV, malaria and TB as well as for neglected tropical diseases such as leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and sleeping sickness.
Paediatric treatments are an essential part of a comprehensive and impactful approach to children’s health. When medicines developed for adults are administered to children, this can result in side-effects, under-dosing and over-dosing, which also significantly increases the risk of developing resistance.
MMV and DNDi welcome the progress made by WHO in developing a Global Framework on Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development. We hope that this framework will also emphasize the urgent need for research and development, access and uptake of child-friendly medicines, in line with the 2007 WHO guidelines on safety of medicine use in children and in the context of scaled up action for better diagnosis and integrated community case management of child health.