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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Bull World Health Organ vol.81 n.11 Genebra Nov. 2003 



WHO manual on child health awarded the 2003 Prescrire Prize



The 2002 French edition of "Management of the Child with a Serious Infection or Severe Malnutrition: Guidelines for care at the first-referral level in developing countries" has been awarded the 2003 Prescrire Prize for Medical and Pharmaceutical Books.

"This guide about clinical practice, written in a simple language, entirely devoted to clinical practice with clear explanatory drawings will be understood by all health workers. It deserves to be widely distributed to all hospitals in developing countries," said the panel of independent judges.

Prescrire is a French monthly, nonprofit, medical journal aiming to promote the international exchange of quality information on new drugs and therapeutics. Each month Prescrire selects medical and pharmaceutical literature for independent review and at the end of the year, the best are shortlisted for nomination for the annual Prescrire Prize.

Judges examined seven nominations selected from publications reviewed in the journal between October 2002 and September 2003 (issues 232 to 242). Three of these were awarded, in equal merit, the 2003 Prescrire Prize. The manual on child health, originally published in English in 2000 by WHO's Child and Adolescent Health and Development Department was one of the three winners. It is intended for use by doctors, senior nurses and other health workers who are responsible for the care of young children at the first referral level in developing countries. It presents up-to-date clinical guidelines, prepared by experts, for both inpatient and outpatient care in small hospitals where there may be limited resources. The publication is a result of an international collaborative effort between specialists in child health from WHO and other experts in developing and developed countries.

"The challenge was how to devise effective methods and treatment without relying on sophisticated equipment and medicines that readers would not have access to," said Dr Olivier Fontaine of WHO's Child and Adolescent Health and Development Department.

Another WHO publication, International Travel and Health published in 2002 by the Department of Communicable Diseases, was among this year's list of seven nominees.