Producing National Drug and Therapeutic Information - The Malawi Approach to Developing Standard Treatment Guidelines
(1994; 49 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsMSTG 1 (First edition)
Open this folder and view contentsMSTG 2 (Second edition)
Close this folderAppendices
View the documentAppendix 1 - Background publications used in preparation of the guidelines
View the documentAppendix 2 - Sample page of MSTG 1 (December 1988) first draft
View the documentAppendix 3 - Sample page of MSTG 1 (May 1989) second draft
View the documentAppendix 4 - Sample page of MSTG 1 (July 1989) third draft
View the documentAppendix 5 - Sample page of MSTG 1 (November 1990) final version
View the documentAppendix 6 - Technical notes on MSTG 1
View the documentAppendix 7 - Cover page of MSTG 1
View the documentAppendix 8 - Modification form for MSTG 1
View the documentAppendix 9 - Sample page of MSTG 2 (July 1993) final version
View the documentAppendix 10 - Technical notes on MSTG 2
View the documentAppendix 11 - Cover page of MSTG 2
View the documentAppendix 12 - Comparison table for MSTG 1 and MSTG 2
View the documentAppendix 13 - District training workshops to introduce MSTG 2 and MPC

Appendix 6 - Technical notes on MSTG 1


A6 (= 105 × 149 mm). This was chosen so that the document could serve as a pocket-sized guide taken on clinical rounds.


1. It is important to decide on the size of the publication at the beginning of its development.

2. When deciding on the size, it is advisable to consult a print company. In general it is preferable to choose from one of the standard sizes, e.g. A4, A5, A6 which are used locally. The photographic plates used by printers are able to take a certain number of pages each, depending on the size. Often, a small adjustment to the chosen page size may allow more pages to be fitted on each photographic plate. This means in turn that fewer plates will be needed so the cost can be reduced.

Cover page:

Malawi Government crest, Malawi Government/Ministry of Health, publication title in shaded box, Malawi Essential Drugs Programme (all in bold capital letters).

Font types and sizes used:

Foreword (drafted for and signed by the Chief of Health Services) and Preface (by editors) - 10pt Dutch.

Main text: Dutch 8 pt - the smallest easily readable size - to keep overall size/thickness of publication down.

Header: Helvetica 12 pt bold caps underlined (same for odd and even numbered pages).

Footer: Helvetica 8 pt bold caps (different odd and even numbered pages to position the page number on the outside of each page).

Disease titles: Dutch 12 pt bold in shaded box.

All drug names in bold type.

Font Types and Sizes

Font types: a font is the name of a type-face, i.e. the shape of the letters of text. There are two basic kinds of font:

Serif fonts (e.g. Palatino, Courier, Times Roman) have fine cross strokes (serifs) across the ends of the main strokes of each letter, e.g. across the top and bottom of the letters h or p. This is an example of a serif font (Times Roman).

Sans serif fonts (e.g. Helvetica, Optima, Arial) like the one used in this document (Helvetica-Light) do not have these serifs.

Font sizes: type (font) sizes are measured in points (pt). One point is 1/72 inch. Thus an inch contains 72 points. A type’s point size is usually the measurement of the full height of lowercase letters from the top of the ascender (the stem that points up on some lowercase letters, such as h, l and k) to the bottom of the descender (the stem that points down on some letters such as p, q, y, j). Body copy (the main text in documents) is usually set between 9 and 12 points in size with headings generally larger. Text smaller than 6 points is difficult to read and is rarely used.

Number of pages:

Total pages = 104 including four blank pages for notes.

Note: depending on the type of binding chosen, the number of pages which will fit on the printer’s photographic plate and the way the printer assembles pages for binding will determine the precise number of pages in the publication (usually a multiple of 2 or 4). Blank pages can be added to obtain the number required.

Paper used:

For inside pages was 70g white bond, which was considered the thinnest paper which would have sufficient strength to withstand regular use and yet still permit printing on both sides of the paper without print-through (text from one side of the paper beginning to appear on the other side, due to ink passing through the thickness of the paper) occurring. The cover was printed on 160g blue card - the thinnest card expected to give adequate protection to the inner pages during the lifespan of the publication - expected by the NDC to be up to three years.


By two metal staples which was simple, cheap and adequate for this size (thickness) of publication.

It was observed that after some three years of daily use, although the cover of the MSTG tended to get dirty and the corners damaged, the inside pages remained clean and undamaged and the binding intact.

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