By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE is one of the five countries in Africa that has been selected to provide flavoured HIV drugs to children.
The new drug means there is no more crushing of adult-sized tablets to give children.
Aid agencies say that a low cost strawberry-flavoured tablet for children living with HIV will be rolled out in African countries in 2021.
It is to be the first generic paediatric version of a key anti-retroviral therapy which will even be available for babies.
The UN estimates that more than 1.5 million children around the world live with HIV but says only half receive any treatment.
One thing that’s made it difficult for young children to take their anti-retroviral medication has been the bitter taste of the pills meant for adults.
Health experts say the flavoured tablet will be given in doses that are suitable for children living with HIV. That means no more crushing up of adult-sized tablets.
Another problem has been the cost – despite some significant progress in recent years.
In a few months’ time, children in Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe will receive the new tablets.
According to media reports, the new tablet will cost US$120 a year instead of nearly US$500 per annum.