27 January 2018
Medicines for Malaria Venture and DNDi delivered a joint statement at WHO’s 142nd Executive Board. The statement was on agenda item 4.3 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030): early childhood development. The statement urged WHO to recognize the urgent need for research and development, access, and uptake of child-friendly medicines.
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.