The World Health Organization updates its list of essential medicines for potential radiological and nuclear emergencies
The World Health Organization Issues a Warning to Governments – Be Prepared: stockpile lifesaving radiation medicines today.
In a world brimming with unknown threats, The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a warning to governments across the globe: be prepared for potential radiological and nuclear emergencies by stockpiling specific drugs. This publication provides essential policy advice regarding the acquisition of these lifesaving medicines, as well as information about their appropriate management. In an era of ever-escalating uncertainty, WHO’s updated list is designed to equip nations with the resources they need in order to respond rapidly when radiation threats occur.
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WHO says – Get your nation ready for the next nuclear disaster.
The 2007 WHO report on developing national stockpiles for radiation emergencies has been superseded by this recent publication which includes up-to-date information on formularies related to radiation emergency medicine over the last decade. It recommends that each nation develop an inventory of medications that can prevent or reduce radionuclide uptake and increase elimination from the human body; such medications are known today as ‘radioprotectors’. The document also highlights elements required to build, maintain and manage national stockpiles effectively; these include regulatory issues, quality assurance measures, storage & transportation requirements, etc., along with guidance for proper use in times of crisis or disaster situations created due to radioactive exposure or contamination.
The WHO is Urging All Governments to Prepare for a Radiological Disaster
The WHO is stressing the importance of having a stockpile of radiation emergency medications at the ready. These drugs, along with appropriate management and access to them, can be essential for saving lives in cases of over-exposure to radiation. The organization also urges governments to continue researching new developments in radioprotectors as well as improve existing drugs and management systems.
The World Health Organization has published a new list of medicines to be stockpiled for radiological and nuclear emergencies, along with policy advice on their acquisition, appropriate management and use. WHO stresses that it is essential that governments respond rapidly by having ready supplies of lifesaving medicines when such threats occur. With this publication, WHO hopes to equip nations across the globe for whatever disaster may come in an era of ever-escalating uncertainty.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) published an updated list of medicines to be stockpiled for radiological and nuclear emergencies, as well as policy advice for their appropriate management.
- This publication supersedes the 2007 WHO report on the development of national stockpiles for radiation emergencies and includes updated information on the stockpile formulary based on developments in radiation emergency medicine in the last decade.
- It provides policy advice regarding the acquisition of drugs that can prevent or reduce radionuclides uptake or increase elimination from the human body, along with elements required to develop, maintain & manage national stockpiles.
- The publication focuses only on specific drugs known today to prevent/treat over-exposure to radiation; it is essential that governments respond rapidly by having ready supplies of lifesaving medicines when such threats occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this report coming out now?
This report is being released now due to the increasing number of radiological and nuclear concerns around the world. It is designed to equip nations with the resources they need to respond rapidly when/if these radiation threats occur.
What measures can individuals take in case of a radiation emergency?
Federal government agencies such as EPA and Ready.gov recommend that you get inside and put as many walls as possible between you and the outside – because walls and dirt can protect you from radiation. Stay Inside for up to 24 hours, unless the authorities have told you it is safe to leave. Furthermore, they recommend that you seal all windows and doors and avoid any food or water from outdoor sources. Additionally, people should not travel unless instructed to do so by emergency officials.
Does potassium iodide (KI) protect against radiation?
Potassium Iodide (KI) is not a general radioprotective agent. It only prevents the uptake of radioactive iodine into the thyroid gland, it does not protect other parts of the body. KI must be taken within 24 hours before or 4 hours after exposure to be most effective.
What types of drugs are recommended for radiation emergency stockpiles?
The World Health Organization recommends that countries stockpile two types of drugs approved for use in patients who have been exposed to radiation. These include pharmaceuticals used as radioprotectors and chelators. Radioprotectors prevent or reduce radionuclides uptake while chelators increase their elimination from the human body. Examples of recommended drugs include amifostine and Prussian blue.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it due to something you have read in this article.
All content is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing, but we make no representation or warranty regarding its accuracy and completeness. It should not be relied upon for any purpose whatsoever. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, this article does not constitute professional advice of any kind.
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