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Theme of the Week: Essential WHO Medications

Have you ever imagined what life would be like if certain medications did not exist? The world would be a different place if not for these discoveries. Hence, the World Health Organization has compiled a long list of essential medicines.

Here are three important ones from the list:


1) Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen is used to treat fever, headache and pain. This basic necessity allows us to avoid the widespread use of non-steroidal anti inflammatories such as naproxen, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular events, kidney dysfunction and gastric bleeds. Also, this has allowed us to avoid opioid use as well, which is associated with respiratory depression and addiction.


2) Acetylsalicylic acid: Such a simple and cost-effective medication, this blood thinner has prevented secondary heart attacks and stroke. For less than a dollar a day, low-dose acetylsalicylic acid has saved lives.


3) Amoxicillin: Generally a narrow spectrum antibiotic compared to other medications, this can be used to treat a variety of diseases including middle ear infections, sore throat, pneumonia and tooth infections. The use of amoxicillin has allowed us to avoid using more broad-spectrum antibiotics, which can lead to antimicrobial resistance.

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