Little ones suffering from tuberculosis now need not worry about taking bitter tablets. The government has introduced in five states strawberry and orange-flavoured pills for such children, doses of which will be decided according to their weight. By June, the initiative will be rolled out in 17 more states and by the year-end, these flavoured drugs will reach every child of the country, said Dr Jagdish Pradash, Director General of Health Services. "As of now, children diagnosed with TB are given bitter- tasting pills four times a day.
These pills are actually meant for adult patients but are crushed and given to the kids. So it is difficult for parents to give the correct dose every time," he said. The affected children will be required to take these flavoured drugs once or twice a day depending on their weight. "These tablets will be easy to swallow as they will melt soon after being put inside the mouth," Dr Prasad said. In the coming days, easily-dissolvable and flavoured TB drugs will also be made available for adults, he added. The introduction of these flavoured drugs are in line with the World Health Organisation recommendations to improve treatment and survival rate among children suffering from TB. According to government estimates, India has around 25 lakh TB cases of which around five to six per cent are children.
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