Treated with child-friendly medicine

Rose Aluoch Ngala with her daughter in Kenya - Photo: Novartis

“My name is Rose Aluoch Ngala and this place is called Ombeyi, Kamagaga, Kenya. I work in the farm and I have three children, Shanrol, Robata, Ngala. Shanrol is 2 years old and 1 month.

Her body was hot… she was not eating or playing and crying all the time. It was then that I decided to take her to hospital at Ogra. At the hospital she was taken to the lab and diagnosed with malaria. I was told that she would be admitted for 3 days.

This is the fourth time she has had malaria. The first time she was only 8 months, and I took her to the hospital where she received drip water and medicine. When your child is always sick you can hardly eat or work at all. The only work is to take care of the child, carry her around since she is always in pain. I fear that my child can die because of this disease, malaria.

This medicine is good because the child can swallow it fast. The fever also goes down very fast. Now as you can see she can speak and play and truly, I have seen a big difference.”

Nurses, doctors and caregivers often struggle to get sick children to take their medicine. Antimalarial medicines, however, present their own additional challenge – the bitter taste of artemisinin derivatives can cause a gagging or vomiting reflex in children.

Even worse, after the first dose is given by a healthcare professional, parents or caregivers must continue to treat their sick children at home. This makes it harder to guarantee they will complete their treatment course, which is critical to ensure a complete cure. Incomplete dosing can also contribute to a larger problem – the development of drug resistance.

After several years in clinical development Coartem Dispersible broke through the wall of neglect that denied sick children in the developing world access to malaria treatment tailored to their needs. This sweet-tasting, paediatric tablet is both highly effective and easy to give to children, thus helping improve compliance and dosing accuracy.

  • Story and photo courtesy of Novartis