Report of the DTC Peer Review Workshop on the Better Medicines for Children Project. Accra, Ghana, 26 – 28 September 2010. (Better Medicines for Children in Ghana)
(2011; 25 pages)


More than 9 million of the world’s children below age five die annually due to disease conditions, such as acute respiratory infections (pneumonia, 17%); diarrhoeal diseases (17%); severe neonatal infections (9%); malaria (7%); and HIV/AIDS (2%)1. In more than half of these cases, lives could have been saved by access to safe and rational use of child-specific essential medicines of acceptable quality. Access to medicines presents multi-factorial issues when child-specific medicines are the focus. Children are commonly given medicines that are not appropriate due to inadequate health systems that fail to ensure sustained access to child-specific medicines. The key issue is how medicines for children can be made childfriendly and accessible to a majority of the population to ensure child survival and growth.

The Better Medicines for Children (BMC) project is an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to improve access to child-specific essential medicines in countries. The project forms part of a mechanism set in place to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6. Ghana embraced the BMC agenda due to its relevance to the national context on access to medicines. The project seeks to address issues congruent with the existing child health policy of Ghana. This assessment investigates the functions of drug and therapeutics committees (DTCs) in relation to other agents of the health system in promoting access to medicines for children.


  • Identify the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of selected DTCs with respect to medicines for children and identify best practices and challenges.
  • Understand the relationship and possible linkages between the functions of the DTCs and other agencies and their role in improving access to medicines for children in health facilities.
  • Investigate the role of DTCs in:
    • rational selection and use of medicines for children in health facilities;
    • support of local manufacture of medicines for children;
    • promoting rational prescribing and dispensing of medicines for children;
    • the treatment of malaria in children...
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