Priority Life-saving Medicines for Women and Children

6th June 2012

This list of priority life-saving medicines for women and children was developed by the World Health Organization departments of Essential Medicines and Health Products; Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health; and Reproductive Health and Research, and UNFPA and UNICEF to help countries and partners select and make available those medicines that will have the biggest impact on reducing maternal, newborn and child morbidity and mortality. The medicines on this list were chosen according to

  1. the global burden of disease;
  2. the evidence of efficacy and safety for preventing or treating major causes of sexual and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity.

In addition, medicines were included for palliative care. All of the medicines listed are included in the current versions of the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), the WHO EML for Children (with the exception of dexamethasone and betamethasone) and WHO treatment guidelines. Medicines were selected from the core essential medicines list with one exception, to prioritize those medicines that can be used throughout health care systems.

View the list here.

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