Health Ministry introduces new medicine for children living with HIV and AIDS
The Ministry of Health and Social Services recently started rolling out, a more effective medicine for suppressing the viral load in children living with HIV and AIDS known as Pediatric Dolutegravir (pDTG) also known as Dolutegravir 10mg, said the ministry’s executive director, Ben Nangombe. This week.
Until recently, Dolutegravir was only used for the older population and was not available for young children as the medicine did not come in smaller doses.
The 10mg version is now available which provides the right treatment for young children between 4 weeks up to 5 years old.
“With the introduction of pDTG, Namibia will transition from the Lopinavir granules formulation which is currently given to children, to pDTG which is proven to be more effective,” he said.
According to Nangombe, the other benefits of pDTG are that it comes in tablet form, which is dissolved in measured water and is taken once a day as opposed to Lopinavir granules which is taken twice a day.
“The medicine also tastes better which makes it easier to give to children and is easier for them to swallow,” he added.
Meanwhile, nangombe said the Ministry is busy with logistics to make sure that this medicine is available at all health facilities across the country.
“Parents and care givers are encouraged to enquire with health care workers at nearest facilities about this medicine,” he concluded.
According to the ministry, by the end of June 2021, Namibia had about 183 576 people enrolled for HIV and AIDS treatment. Of these, 724 are children below the age of four.