The World Health Organization, WHO, has said it will begin the distribution of paediatric (chewable) formulation of mebendazole to countries with a high prevalence of soil-transmitted helminthiases (intestinal worms).
Mebendazole is one of the medicines recommended by WHO to treat intestinal worm infections of humans.
Dr Antonio Montresor, heads of WHO programme on soil-transmitted helminthiasis said “Now, young children aged 1 year or older children who have difficulty swallowing solid tablets will be able to easily ingest the tablet, which has a pleasant taste and can either be chewed or turned into a soft mass with a little water.”
More than 1.5 billion people, or 24% of the world’s population, are infected with soil-transmitted helminths worldwide. Infections are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, with the greatest numbers occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, China and East Asia.
Over 267 million preschool-age children live in areas where these parasitic worms are intensively transmitted and periodic treatment is required to prevent associated morbidity.