Namibia introduces new HIV drugs for children

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HIV -AIDS

The Namibian health ministry on Wednesday announced the introduction of a new HIV drug for children.

The drug, Pediatric Dolutegravir (pDTG), is consumed in single doses a day, compared to the two doses a day of Lopinavir granules formulation the country was offering to children living with HIV, according to Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The new drug is more effective in suppressing HIV viral load in children, said the ministry’s executive director, Ben Nangombe.

“Until recently, Dolutegravir was only used for the older population and was not available for children as the medicine did not come in smaller doses,” he said. “The 10mg version is now available, which provides the right treatment for young children between four weeks and five years old.”

Nangombe said that besides its effectiveness and nature of single doses, Dolutegravir also tastes better than the Lopinavir, which makes it better for children to swallow.

He said the health ministry is trying to ensure that the drug is available at all health facilities.

As of June 2021, Namibia had 183,576 people enrolled for HIV and AIDS treatment, 724 of them children below the age of four, according to health ministry data. Enditem

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