December 8, 2022
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Probing Indian Cough Syrup After 66 Children Die In Gambia: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that four cough and cold syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India may be responsible for the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia in a statement released on Wednesday. The UN health organisation also issued a warning, stating that it was “likely” that the infected pharmaceuticals had been transported outside of the West African nation.

The four in issue cold and cough medications “have been potentially connected with acute renal damage and 66 deaths among children,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. For the relatives of these children, the loss of their lives is unbearably tragic.

WHO was “doing further inquiry with the company and regulatory authorities in India,” Tedros stated.

The four medications are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup, according to the medical product alert released by WHO on Wednesday.

“To date, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products,” the alert said, adding that laboratory analysis of samples of the products “confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.”

Those substances are toxic to humans and can be fatal, it said, adding that the toxic effect “can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.”

After at least 28 infants died of renal failure, The Gambia’s health minister urged hospitals to stop using a syrup paracetamol last month, awaiting the results of an inquiry.

The company had only given the contaminated pharmaceuticals to The Gambia, according to information from India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, according to the WHO.

On September 9, the Gambian health ministry advised against using paracetamol syrup, a month after investigators found that at least 28 infants, aged five months to four years, had passed away from acute renal failure.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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