New drug for pneu­mo­nia in chil­dren rec­om­mended

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY AG­GREY OMBOKI

A new drug could re­duce the num­ber of cases of chil­dren be­ing ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tals with pneu­mo­nia.

In an ef­fort to curb the deadly toll pneu­mo­nia is tak­ing on the coun­try’s chil­dren, the Min­istry of Health has now spec­i­fied Amoxy­cillin dis­persible tablets as the de­fault drug to be pre­scribed.

Al­though some hos­pi­tals had al­ready started ad­min­is­ter­ing the drug, the min­istry now wants it to be the treat­ment stan­dard for all health fa­cil­i­ties.

Pre­vi­ously, chil­dren with non-se­vere pneu­mo­nia were re­quired to be ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal for a min­i­mum of five days and re­ceive a peni­cillin in­jec­tion ev­ery four hours.

The move comes af­ter a clin­i­cal study car­ried out to eval­u­ate the ef­fec­tive­ness of al­ter­na­tive an­tibi­otics for child­hood pneu­mo­nia showed the drug’s abil­ity to treat non­se­vere pneu­mo­nia.

Dr Am­brose Ag­weyu who has done two stud­ies that looked at 1,000 child­hood pneu­mo­nia, and two large clin­i­cal tri­als on the ef­fi­cacy of var­i­ous treat­ment reg­i­mens, said the ex­ist­ing an­tibi­otics had shown trends of re­sis­tance af­ter us­age in pa­tients over time, lead­ing to treat­ment fail­ure.

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