In May 2007, the World Health Assembly passed resolution 60.20 which called on Member States to improve access to essential medicines for children. The ‘make medicines child size’ initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) was a consequence of this resolution and formally commenced in December 2008 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Early discussions on the Better Medicines for Children (BMC) project in Africa and India took place in Accra, Ghana in 2009 for which the then president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), Dr. Panna Chaudhury was invited. Following this, in February 2010, representatives of the IAP were invited to attend the “Informal Consultation on Better Medicines for Children in India” which was held at the WHO’s South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) in New Delhi. At this meeting, the IAP was formally requested to prepare a list of essential medicines for the children of India which would reflect the morbidity patterns and other child health needs of the country, and which could perhaps, later form the basis of a national EMLc. The IAP readily accepted and took up this challenge. Drawing upon the considerable knowledge enthusiasm and commitment of the nearly 18000 members of the IAP, the various chapters of the academy were given the task of identifying a minimal number of medicines that would be considered ‘essential’. The IAP convened “The National Consultative Meeting on Essential Medicines List for Children” on 17 October 2010 in Mumbai, where the first draft of the list was presented and reviewed. The list has undergone numerous revisions and has been reviewed by international and national experts to reach its present form. The IAP’s Essential Medicines List for children (EMLc) of India covers the basic needs for the majority of children seeking health care in the country. The medicines were selected based on the WHO criteria for selection of essential medicines, and the National Health Programmes in India. This is the first edition of the IAP EMLc 2011 and it contains 134 medicines. The IAP is committed to reviewing the list once in two years and to disseminate information and sensitize members of the IAP and medical practitioners in the public and private sector regarding the use and implementation of this EMLc. The IAP wishes to thank all its chapters and members who directly and indirectly, so generously offered their time and expertise to this activity. It also wishes to place on record its sincere thanks to Dr. Gitanjali Batmanabane, Dr. Kathleen Holloway, Dr. Krisantha Weerasuriya and Dr. Suzanne Hill of WHO; Dr. Jatinder Singh of Govt. Medical College, Amritsar, Dr. S. Manikandan of Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital & Research Institute, Puducherry and many others for their guidance and technical support during the preparation of this list. This list was funded by the Better Medicines for Children (India) project by the WHO, SEARO, New Delhi.
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