India unveils zinc tablet to control diarrhoea

April 7th, 2008 - 9:29 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) India Monday unveiled a zinc dispersible tablet to control diarrhoea, a disease that kills nearly 500,000 children in the country every year. Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said that the use of zinc along with oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to decrease the incidence and severity of diarrhoea.

“The government has adopted a policy to use zinc in treatment of diarrhoea under the National Rural Health Mission for children below five years of age,” Sibal said.

The minister said the department of biotechnology and WHO have developed simple, easily dispersible and low-cost zinc tablets for the national programme.

The tablets will be given to children between the age of two months and five years. Experts said the dispersible tablets can be administered by mixing with breast milk or water.

The treatment should be started from the first day of diarrhoea and the 14-day course should be completed.

The tablet contains 20 mg of elemental zinc as active ingredient and will be available in sweet vanilla flavour.

The tablet will be produced with technology transfer from Nutriset, a French company. The Nutriset product has been tested in India and clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of zinc supplements and safety.

Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL), a public sector undertaking of the ministry, will produce the tablet in India.

BIBCOL is ready with the tablet manufacturing facility and a trial batch has been produced. The company has a production capacity of 240 million tablets per annum and will soon come with commercial production.

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