The National Drug Policy makes provision for an Essential Drugs Program (EDP), which is a key component in promoting rational medicines use. Each treatment guideline in the Paediatric Hospital Level Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) and Essential Medicines List (EML) has been designed as a progression in care from the current Primary Health Care (PHC) STGs and EML. In addition, where a referral is recommended, the relevant medicines have either been reviewed and included on the Tertiary level EML, or are in the process of being reviewed. The STGs serve as a standard for practice, but do not replace sound clinical judgment. It is important to remember that the recommended treatments provided in this book are guidelines only, and are based on the assumption that prescribers are competent to handle patients with the relevant conditions presenting to their facilities.
The next edition of the Paediatric Hospital Level STGs and EML (2022 edition) is currently under review. In the interim, chapters that have already been updated and ratified by the National Essential Medicines List Committee in this review cycle have now been made available. In addition, the COVID-19 in Children section which will form part of the Infective/Infectious Diseases Chapter has been made available as a standalone section in the interim until the Infective/Infectious Diseases Chapter is updated. The 2017 version of the chapters still under review will still be available.