Monaco funding effective HIV treatments for children

The government of Monaco has thrown its support behind the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, a programme that makes available proper treatment to children living with HIV.

Staggering statistics from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) show that nearly half of all children living with HIV worldwide are not receiving proper treatment.

The figures show that almost 800,000 children, the vast majority living in Sub-Saharan Africa, are not getting the medicines they need. This number represents roughly half of all children who have been diagnosed with HIV globally. Without treatment, half the children born with HIV die before the age of two.

South Africa’s childhood HIV numbers stand at 310,000, though only 47% are receiving the receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) they require to survive. In Senegal, only a third of the estimated 4,000 children with HIV have access to ART.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, a Monaco-funded project, aims to change that by getting the child-adjusted doses of ART medicines to the struggling nations.

In South Africa, DNDi is helping to push through the regulatory agencies a new “taste-masked” combination treatment that will make a big difference in getting children to take the necessary medicines. The current drugs have a bitter taste that makes it difficult for doctors to get children to take.

In Senegal, the programme will strive to contribute to strengthening local capacities for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV in children through training of health personnel and local communities.

“The Government of the Principality of Monaco is delighted with this partnership with DNDi, for the benefit of children with HIV in two of its partner countries, South Africa and Senegal,” said Bénédicte Schutz, Special Representative of Monaco for International Cooperation. “This health partnership is in line with the priorities of the Monegasque Cooperation, with the most vulnerable as the core target. We hope that advances in terms of HIV diagnosis and treatment will soon benefit as many people as possible, so that no one is left behind,”

The DNDi project is one of some 150 projects supported by the government of Monaco in 11 countries. The government focuses aid on four key areas of intervention: health, food and nutrition security, education and child protection, and access to decent work options.



Photo by Ariane Mawaffo, DNDi