Health minister launches two publications on safe medicines for under-12s

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has launched two publications which he described as veritable tools in the healthcare delivery system that forms the fulcrum for the treatment of various medical conditions prevalent in the country.

The publications include; ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Adults’ (7th Edition, 2020) and ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Children’ (1st Edition, 2020), were launched at a event which held, Friday, at Rockview Hotel (Royale), Wuse II, Abuja.

The 7th Edition of the ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Adults’ was said to be the outcome of several deliberations and consultations by various experts and stakeholders in the healthcare delivery system, who include; Expert Therapeutic Groups of the National Drug Formulary (NDF)/Essential Drug List (EDL) Committee, who, according to the minister have meticulously evaluated the safety, efficacy, quality, as well as the cost effectiveness of new medicines incorporated into this seventh edition for the treatment of various clinical conditions.

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On the ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Children’ (NEMLc, 1st Edition, 2020), Dr. Ehanire stated that the NDF/EDL developed the maiden edition of the list for Children in line with the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities (UNCoLSC) which advocates the need to pay special attention to the health of children and women as special populations.

The Minister, represented by Dr. Omobolanle Olowu, the Director for Public Private Partnership/Diaspora Unit of Federal Ministry of Health, further said that the development of the essential list for children will ensure the appropriate therapeutic interventions to children as envisaged by the 2007 Model List of Essential Medicines for Children by WHO.

Dr. Ehanire deriving strength from the World Health Organisation (WHO) submission wrote that the publication contains list of safe medicines for children up to 12 years of age; the most cost-effective options for key health problems and are useable with the little additional health resources.

The launch was organized by the Food and Drug Services Department of the Ministry in collaboration with Development partners, many of who were represented at the launch event and they gave goodwill messages.

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Remarking, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Foundation (PSNF), said: “Today’s event is indeed significant, as it brings to fore the aspiration of the FMoH especially the Department of Food & Drugs Services and indeed the government of Nigeria in strengthening the supply chain and providing quality medicines for Nigerians.”

“The provision and availability of medicines, the Society added, “can only be guaranteed by the appropriate selection of medicines needed by the population as the government through its policies expands access to healthcare.

“It is gratifying that attention was focused on the inclusion of innovative medicines like Depot MedroxyProgesterone Acetate Sub-Cutaneous (DMPA-SC) which encourages Self Care and gives women of child bearing age the power to make informed choices through a varied contraceptive mix. “Furthermore, the development of the maiden edition of the NEMLc is a testament to the fact that the vulnerable, particularly children, are of top priority in the agenda of the government.

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“As a formidable partner, the PSNF through the PACFaH and PAS projects has supported the Ministry and the department in numerous ways: Notable is the strengthening of the Treatment Guidelines from 2014 till date. We are confident that this cordial relationship will continue to wax stronger and beyond the present.

“This launch has been a long time coming as painstaking effort, intellect based on evidence and time of the expert committee with support from various stakeholders including partners, were put into the review process which commenced in 2018.

“We hope that this strategic policy document materializes into a living policy that will positively impact the lives of all health seeking Nigerians particularly those in the rural areas with limited access to quality medicines and services,” the body said.

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