Bulletin of the World Health Organization

What essential medicines for children are on the shelf?

Jane Robertson, Gilles Forte, Jean-Marie Trapsida & Suzanne Hill

Volume 87, Number 3, March 2009, 231-237

Table 1. The 17 children’s medicines in 20 dosage forms included in an availability survey in 14 central African countries, and indications for their use

Medicine Dosage form Indication in WHO treatment guidelines
Albendazole Chewable tablet, 200 mg Helminthiasis
Albendazolea Suspension, 100 mg/5 ml Helminthiasis
Amoxicillinb Suspension, 125 mg/5 ml Infections including pneumonia
Artemether plus lumefantrine Tablet, 20 mg + 120 mg Malaria
Beclometasone Inhaler, 50 µg/dose Asthma
Ceftriaxoneb Injection, 1-g vial Severe infections, including meningitis
Ceftriaxone Injection, 250-mg vial Severe infections, including meningitis
Co-trimoxazoleb Suspension, 200 mg + 40 mg/5 ml Pneumonia or prophylaxis of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia
Isoniazid Tablet, 100 mg Tuberculosis
Mebendazoleb Chewable tablet, 100 mg Helminthiasis
Mebendazolea Syrup, 100 mg/5 ml Helminthiasis
Nevirapine Syrup, 50 mg/5 ml HIV infection
Nystatina,b Drops, 100 000 IU/ml Oral candidiasis
Oral rehydration saltsb Packet Diarrhoea
Paracetamolb Syrup, 120 mg/5 ml Pain
Rifampicina Syrup, 100 mg/5 ml Tuberculosis
Salbutamolb Inhaler, 100 µg/dose Asthma
Vitamin Ab Capsules, 100 000 IU (30 mg) Prophylaxis
Vitamin Aa Liquid preparation, 50 000 IU/ml Prophylaxis
Zincb Tablet, 20 mg dispersible Diarrhoea


a Not included in the WHO model list of essential medicines, 15th list, March 2007.
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b Included in the subanalysis of 10 key medicines for children discussed in the text.

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