DNDi and MMV, supported by Unitaid, deliver statement about R&D and access to child-friendly medicines at the 71st World Health Assembly

24 May 2018
Geneva, Switzerland

DNDi and MMV, supported by Unitaid, delivered the following statement about R&D and access to child-friendly medicines at the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA).

Agenda item

12.3 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030): sexual and reproductive health, interpersonal violence, and early childhood development


The Medicines for Malaria Venture and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which hosts the Global Antibiotic Research&Development Partnership (GARDP) with WHO, supported by Unitaid welcome the progress made by WHO in developing a Global Framework on Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development.

We share the aspiration of comprehensive nurturing care for newborns and children, whose development continues to be disproportionately affected by major infectious diseases, such as malaria, HIV, NTDs, and serious bacterial infections, including tuberculosis and neonatal sepsis.

Nurturing care requires the availability of appropriate health interventions. However, this faces several obstacles: the standard of care for malaria and many bacterial infections is under constant risk of drug resistance; it is not yet optimal for paediatric HIV; it does not even exist for many neglected tropical diseases.

We urgently require research and development of, and increased access to, 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.

We look forward to the Progress Report on Resolution WHA 69.20 on Promoting innovation and access to quality, safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines for children. To achieve and sustain the SDGs and Universal Health Coverage, efforts to promote R&D must integrate mechanisms to ensure sustainable and affordable access to new as well as existing medicines.

Open data sharing of research findings, and open innovation approaches to drug development can significantly shorten development times for new and more effective medicines products. These new ways of working must form part of the policy arsenal being considered by Member States, and be adopted without delay to safeguard the healthy life expectancy of children. including those affected by PRNDs