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New review of child health trials in developing countries

Over at the PLoS Medicine blog, Speaking of Medicine, there's an interesting post about a new booklet that summarizes pediatric trials conducted in developing countries during the past year. The idea behind the review, produced by the International Child Health Review Collaboration, is to make information on child-health research available to doctors and medical professionals as freely as possible - an especially important goal given that several of the studies described in the review have the potential to greatly improve pediatric healthcare in impoverished parts of the world.

The Speaking of Medicine entry highights several such studies:

-In Kenya, South Africa and Burkina Faso, giving a combination of three antiretroviral drugs to pregnant women who had HIV infection, from the last trimester through to six months of breastfeeding, reduced the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby and improved survival compared to zidovudine in pregnancy and single dose nevirapine.

- In 11 centres in nine African countries, among more than 5,000 children with severe malaria, Artesunate substantially reduced mortality compared to quinine treatment.

-In rural China, iron and folic acid supplementation to pregnant women from the poorest households reduced neonatal mortality and reduced low birth weight.  Standard iron and folic acid provided more protection against neonatal death than multiple micronutrient supplements.

There's no direct URL to the complete booklet, called Randomized Trials on Child Health in Developing Countries; to download it, go to the International Child Health Review Collaboration website, click "Go to Reviews" in the left margin, and then click "Randomized Trial Summary."

Photo by DFID - UK Department for International Development

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