Cherry-flavoured Pill Could Help Save Kids from Malaria

by VR Sreeraman on Oct 15 2008 4:01 PM

A new cherry-flavoured pill, which is easy for children to swallow, works as an anti-malarial drug and could help save millions of lives, say researchers in Tanzania.

The researchers say the tablet is not as bitter as other anti-malaria drugs and does not need to be crushed before eating, reports Lancet.

This would make it easier for children to stick to the treatment, the team told the medical journal, The Lancet.

According to BBC, there is no vaccine for malaria but it is curable if treated promptly.

The problem with current drugs is that many young children cannot swallow whole tablets and crushing them can weaken the medicine. The crushed pills also taste bitter when mixed with water, the researchers said.

Salim Abdulla of the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania said the tablet is easy to administer and effective.

Health experts say the pill could help to promote better outcomes from treatment and delay the development of drug resistant strains of the disease.