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MDT for Children Under 10

28 March 2024

Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) has been good news in the control of leprosy since the 1980s, but with some anomalies for children under 10.

The MDT regime for young children has been either inaccessible or freely available but of a size that young children would struggle to swallow. With dispersible formulations or oral liquid of some TB medicines now available, the lack of advance in the treatment of leprosy for children can now be addressed.

With the support of partners, Lepra produced a Factsheet to support our call-to-action, and presented it to the technical advisors at Lepra, then at an alliance of NGO’s working on leprosy called ILEP, and finally at World Health Organization’s Global Leprosy Programme.

This historic work, we believe, is starting to make a difference, and the leprosy community is mobilised towards the same cause. Our hope is that the mobilisation will result in better dosing guidance for treating children and with formulations that are suitable for them.

The World Health Organization is currently considering leprosy as one of the diseases to undergo a formal Paediatric Drug Optimisation (PADO) exercise, where priority formulations for development can be discussed and agreed upon. Updating dosing recommendations to align with a formulation more suitable for young patients is the first step in ensuring they have access to a more suitable treatment, as any child with tuberculosis already has.

Click here to read the factsheet.

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