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The WHO has identified 17 neglected diseases, affecting over a billion people worldwide, many of which can be effectively controlled by relatively simple measures. However, these are but a fraction of the full spectrum of neglected diseases and conditions affecting the most impoverished and marginalised populations of the world. These neglected diseases and conditions include, among many others, reproductive health issues, sexually transmitted diseases, micronutrient deficits and poisonings. Largely ignored, children comprise an important part of the voiceless victims of these diseases.
Currently available treatments for neglected diseases and conditions have a number of shortcomings for children, including lack of paediatric formulations and absence of paediatric specific data. These problems force dosing decisions to be based on adult data, leading to a greater risk of toxicity, or therapeutic failure due to underdosing.
Considering that toxicology is an area where sizeable clinical studies are extremely rare, it is easy to understand that clinical research in paediatric toxicology is a highly deserted area, particularly for acute poisonings and understandably (but not justifiably) worse for neglected diseases and conditions. When toxicology studies do enrol children it is usually as part of the general population, but rarely in sufficient numbers to achieve the power required for paediatric subgroup analysis. Scorpion envenomation is one of these neglected conditions for which clinical trials are uncommon, and most rare in children. However, mortality is currently concentrated in the paediatric population.
To date, studies have provided strong evidence of the effectiveness of prazosin, …
Contributors FG-B conceived the editorial, wrote most of it and proofread the final version. NG and JA provided valuable comments, wrote parts of the manuscript and proofread the final version. All authors approved the final version.
Competing interests FG-B is funded by CONICET (Argentina's National Research and Science Council).
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.