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Administering medicines when water is unavailable
  1. Stuart MacLeod
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stuart MacLeod, Child & Family Research Institute, 950 West 28th Avenue, Rm A2-146, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 4H4; smacleod{at}

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In 2007 the World Health Assembly (WHA) passed WHA resolution 60.20 calling for better medicines for children. This step, long overdue, recognised the need for a coordinated approach to improved prescribing for children with special emphasis on those living in remote and low resource settings. Following the adoption of the WHA resolution, rapid progress has been made in the development of an essential medicines list for children (EMLc) now in its fourth edition. A central issue in the ensuing discussions has been a call for the development of easily adaptable child-friendly formulations.

It is generally accepted as axiomatic that improved availability of syrups will not constitute an acceptable answer to this problem because of bulk, weight and problems in transportation. From the earliest days of EMLc development the need has been recognised for easily and reliably dispersible formulations of commonly used therapies, such as amoxicillin. Fortunately, suitable …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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