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GSK pledges de-worming tablets to WHO

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has signed a pledge to donate 400 million de-worming tablets (albendazole) per year for the next five years to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today signed a pledge to the World Health Organisation (WHO), promising to donate an additional 400 million tablets of albendazole per year for the next five years to children around the world with intestinal worms.

This donation for 400 million tablets comes after a previous pledge of 600 million tablets of albendazole, which are being used in a Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis). This results in GSK donating to the WHO one billion tablets each year for the next five years.

Albendazole is used to treat intestinal worms known as soil-transmitted helminths (STH). These worms are the main cause of disease in school age children in developing countries. They can result in growth stunting, anaemia, malnutrition and poor school performance. 

Around 800 million children in the world are affected by intestinal worms. Children will be treated annually using a single dose of the de-worming medicine.

Shipments have already started and have been received in the African countries Togo and Rwanda. Various other shipments are expected to begin over the next 12 months. In order to meet its commitment, GSK has invested in its factory in South Africa, with its first new production due met month.

12th September 2011

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