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Drug packaging in 2013: small changes would reap big benefits

- Drug packaging is important both in protecting and informing patients. Some improvements were made in 2013, but many of the products examined by Prescrire still had poor-quality or even dangerous packaging.
- Problem packaging is a major concern for patients who are more vulnerable to adverse effects, particularly children and pregnant women. Several problems were noted with products intended for self-medication (umbrella brands), oral solutions sold with dosing devices, and injectable drugs.

HIV and AIDS. The 10 top messages for children (3)

I live in Lesotho in a rural area where the incidence of HIV/AIDs is high. I work with the children of our valley. Education of any sort on HIV/AIDs related topics is very poor. I am starting a children's centre where I hope among other things to provide children with relevant, useful information such as the information outlined below....

HIV and AIDS. The 10 top messages for children (4)

It is very important for anyone working with children to 'version' information so that the children they work with understand it well (and its in a form that they can easily share) and that the information is taught in such a way that the children develop skills and the attitudes that work to protect their health and the health of others (for example smaller children they are caring for). And it has to be accurate.......

HIV and AIDS. The 10 top messages for children (5)

Although I am not the author of these messages, I would like to voice that any health message needs to be understood and then adapted to the situation it will be used in. Generic messages only have value when interpreted and "translated" by someone who understands the target audience.


HIV and AIDS. The 10 top messages for children (6)

We are about implementing HIV and AIDS and sexuality education programme among in school youths in Nigeria. Currently Nigeria is implementing three key strategies among in school youths:

1. Curriculum approach: under this approach sexuality and reproductive health issues are infused into existing subjects and discuss as part of teaching those subjects

2. Community awareness: here selected topics on sexuality and reproductive health issues are discussed during general assemblies, topics chosen for debate and quiz competitions, club activities etc

Honour killings in Turkey (9)

This discussion raises the immensely important issue of our own participation in action to reduce human rights abuses such as honour killings or female genital mutilation (FGM). I believe that speaking out to condemn such abuses is necessarily accompanied by taking active steps to stop them. This might be individual action (contributing to an organisation which works for victims, speaking on the media, talking to grandmothers in the local community) or action through our own paediatric association. For example, what is the National Paediatric society in Turkey saying about honour killings?

Antimicrobial resistance - a serious threat to public health (6)

A list of essential drugs should be available and known by the population. It should be regarded as 'robbery or a crime' to import and/or prescribe drugs like yeast or probiotics for the 'treatment' of diarrhoea in children. Abbott should feel ashamed to promote the export of such drug (yeast) in a poor country. 

WHO press release: Antimicrobial resistance - a serious threat to public health

it is vital that prescribers and users are better supported to use antibiotics appropriately. Inappropriate use of antibiotics is arguably the single biggest driver of resistance, and lack of access to relevant, reliable healthcare information is arguably the greatest and/or most easily reversible cause of inappropriate use. It is unacceptable that prescribers and users in low and middle income countries continue to lack access to basic, independent, reliable information on medicines. For further information, see:


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