Cape Town – Stellenbosch University (SU) has signed a new grant agreement with Unitaid – an international organisation that invests in innovations to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria more quickly, affordably and effectively, to bring children’s needs to the forefront of the global TB response.
Project leader at the Desmond Tutu TB Centre Anthony Garcia-Prats said children had been largely neglected to date in the global response to multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, and they deserved better.
“We’re excited that through Unitaid’s investment in this innovative project, SU and its partners can contribute to addressing this inequity by improving access for children to better, more child-friendly MDR-TB treatment and prevention,” Garcia-Prats said.
The grant, valued at over R280million, would be used to develop and evaluate child-friendly treatments for MDR-TB and assess regimens to prevent the onset of the disease. The agreement was signed earlier in October and will run through to 2022.
Centre director Anneke Hesseling said 95% of children with MDR-TB in the world did not currently receive treatment.