New drug for pneumonia in children recommended

Ministry of Health has now specified Amoxycillin dispersible tablets as the default drug.

A one-year-old boy who is suffering from acute pneumonia in a hospital in Baringo. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP Writer:  

IN SUMMARY

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.

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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 non-severe 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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