Essential Drugs Monitor No. 010 (1990)
(1990; 20 pages) [French] [Spanish]


The tenth edition of the Essential Drugs Monitor addresses a range of topics related to drugs. The feature articles are an update on the 43rd World Health Assembly and an article on the creation of the New Emergency Health Kit. Delegates at the 43rd Assembly reaffirmed the World Health Organization's Revised Drug Strategy and called for a strengthening of the Action Programme on Essential Drugs. Denmark stated their support for the Action Programme and Switzerland stated that the evaluation produced useful recommendations for its continued success. Other countries including the United States, Germany, Zambia and Japan contributed perspectives on ways to further strengthen the Action Programme. The “New Emergency Health Kit” was revised by the WHO, other United Nations agencies and other emergency relief organizations to address the need for streamlined drug donation following a natural disaster or other emergency. Drugs are often among the first requested materials during the emergency phase of disasters. Before the revision in 1987, most donated drugs would arrive to an affected location expired, damaged, unsorted or useless. The Kit aims to provide a basic provision of drugs and medical supplies for populations with disrupted or nonexistent medical facilities.

The rest of this Monitor includes updates on national drug policy, rational use and the recent readership survey. Burundi and Myanmar are featured in articles that detail the latest developments surrounding their national drug policies. An article by Dr. O Akerele, Program Manager of Traditional Medicine at the WHO, discusses the traditional use of medicinal plants. He addresses the need for developed countries to increase their understanding of traditional medicinal practices as a key step in harnessing the potential of these treatment methods. The results of the readership survey that the Monitor conducted are described in an article complete with a readership profile, ratings and comment summaries. Another article highlights the problem of non-compliance among pregnant women with anaemia, and how they often deviate from treatment regimens due to cultural beliefs, attitudes toward medication, logistical factors and marketing techniques. The Newsdesk features articles on rational use, and the Published Lately section includes a review of the WHO’s Action Programme on Essential Drugs by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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