The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a campaign to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop medicines to treat children with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a campaign to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop medicines to treat children with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria reports Reuters. According to WHO, about six million children younger than age five die annually because they do not receive appropriate medication for treatable diseases.

WHO has compiled the first international list of Essential Medicines for Children, which includes 206 products that tackle priority conditions and are safe for children. The agency particularly is calling for increased research and development of pediatric HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria treatments

 In the case of HIV/AIDS, the few drugs that have been developed for children cost "two to eight times" more than adult medications.Testing medicines on children also is a challenge because ethical practices require informed consent from people participating in clinical trials, which is difficult to obtain in the case of children. Europe and the U.S. now have special rules that offer extended patent protection for drugs that have been tested among children in an effort to address the problem.