”WHO updates key drugs list for nuclear and radiological emergencies


The World Health Organization abbreviated as  WHO has updated its list of medications that should be kept on hand in case of radiological or nuclear emergencies and provided guidance on how to manage these situations effectively. These stockpiles contain medications that either stop or lessen radiation exposure or treat radiation-related injuries.

People may be exposed to radiation at doses ranging from minimal to life-threatening levels during radiation emergencies. Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Acting Assistant Director-General a.i, Healthier Populations Division, stated that governments must quickly make therapies accessible to individuals in need.

Governments must be ready to safeguard the wellbeing of the populace and act swiftly in case of calamities. This includes keeping readily available supplies of life-saving medications that will lower risks and treat radiation-related ailments.

The 2007 WHO report on the creation of national stockpiles for radiation crises has been superseded by this document. Taking into account the advancements in radiation emergency medicine over the past ten years, it offers current information on the stockpile formulary.

It offers recommendations for purchasing medications that can lessen or prevent the body from absorbing radionuclides or increase the removal of radionuclides from the body.

It examines the key components necessary for creating, administering, and maintaining the nation’s stockpiles of particular medical supplies that will be needed in the event of radiological and nuclear calamities.

The report examines WHO’s role in stockpile creation as well as that of national health authorities.

WHO advises and directs nations on public health preparedness and response to radiation events, including stockpile construction, as the foremost international institution in public health with both the authority and obligation to assist in health emergencies. When there is a health emergency, WHO may help nations share or purchase medical supplies.

This paper provides a brief analysis of a few cutting-edge technology and medicine formulations, as well as the possible repurposing of goods that have already received approval for various uses.

The publication also offers examples of how certain nations, including Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, and the United States, have established and managed national stockpiles. According to Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, “this updated critical medicines list will be a vital preparedness and readiness tool for our partners to identify, obtain, stockpile, and deliver efficient countermeasures to those at risk or exposed in these events in a timely manner.”

Personal protective equipment (PPE), trauma kits, fluids, antibiotics, and painkillers are examples of generic goods and commodities that would typically be included in a national stockpile for all-hazards health emergencies. Only particular medications that are now known to exist and are licensed to treat or prevent excessive radiation exposure in humans are listed in this publication.

Nuclear and radiological emergencies could expose people to radiation levels high enough to cause serious health effects or even death. Therefore, it is crucial that governments act quickly in the face of such threats. According to yearly reports to the WHO Secretariat, several nations still lack the crucial components of radiation emergency preparedness.

Potential scenarios taken into account in the paper include malevolent uses of radioactive materials as well as radiological or nuclear emergencies at nuclear power plants, healthcare or research facilities, or mishaps when transporting radioactive materials.

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