Improving access to correctly dosed and properly formulated tuberculosis medicines for children.
In 2015, an estimated 1 million children became ill with tuberculosis (TB), of whom 170,000 died. Appropriate treatments were in short supply.
Treating children was complex as no drug formulation existed that was adapted to their needs. Caregivers broke tablets meant for adults into smaller pieces to administer to children. This resulted in incorrect doses and poor outcomes.
The STEP-TB grant aimed to increase access to quality-assured, affordable TB drugs in suitable doses for children in countries with a high burden of the disease.
In December 2015, affordable, appropriately formulated, first-line paediatric TB medicines were launched on the market in high TB burden countries in both the public and private sectors.
As of 2018, the new medicines were available in more than 80 countries.