WHO alert over India-made cough syrups after deaths in The Gambiaon October 6, 2022 at 6:09 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Some 66 deaths in The Gambia may be linked to four syrups made by an India-based firm, world health officials say.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference on December 20, 2021 at the WHO headquarters in GenevaImage source, Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global alert over four cough syrups after warning that they could be linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.

The syrups have been “potentially linked with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children”, it said.

The products were manufactured by an Indian company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, which had failed to provide guarantees about their safety, the WHO added.

The firm has not yet commented.

The BBC has contacted Maiden Pharmaceuticals for comment.

The WHO identified the medicines as Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.

The four products had been identified in The Gambia, but “may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions”, the WHO added, in the alert published on its website.

It warned that their use may result in serious injury or death, especially among children.

The WHO’s intervention came after medical authorities in The Gambia – a popular tourist destination – detected an increase in cases of acute kidney injury among children under the age of five in late July.

The Gambia’s government has since suspended the use of all paracetamol syrups and has urged people to use tablets instead.

The WHO said that laboratory analysis of samples of the products “confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.”

The substances were toxic, and their effects “can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death,” it added.

The Gambia’s health officials said last month that dozens of children had died, without giving an exact number.

Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday, WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said: “The loss of these young lives is beyond heart-breaking for their families.”

The WHO said that India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation indicated that the manufacturer may have only supplied the contaminated medications to The Gambia, AFP news agency reports, quoting an email from the UN health agency.

But the WHO said that “global exposure” was possible as the “manufacturer may have used the same contaminated material in other products and distributed them locally or exported” them, the agency reports.

2px presentational grey line

You may want to watch:

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

- Advertisement -




World Cup 2022: Marquinhos misses decisive penalty as Brazil go out of World Cupon December 9, 2022 at 6:15 pm

Watch the decisive moment as Marquinhos misses the crucial penalty and Croatia knock Brazil out of the World Cup, winning 4-2 on penalties after...

Brazil: Amazon sees worst deforestation levels in 15 yearson November 19, 2021 at 1:30 am

The figures come after Brazil promised to end the practice by 2030 during the COP climate summit.Image source, AFPDeforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest has...

The Open 2022: John Daly makes brilliant 76-foot eagleon July 15, 2022 at 2:33 pm

Former Open champion John Daly makes an outstanding 76-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole during the second round at the Old Course.Former Open...

Rishi Sunak: The most urgent problems facing the new prime ministeron October 24, 2022 at 3:28 pm

Rishi Sunak, the fifth Conservative prime minister in seven years, inherits many pressing challenges.Rishi Sunak, the fifth Conservative prime minister in seven years, inherits...

What three luxury homes reveal about who owns UK propertyon February 7, 2023 at 12:04 am

Despite new transparency laws, the owners of 50,000 British premises remain hidden from public view.By Nassos Stylianou, Will Dahlgreen and Alison BenjaminBBC Data Journalism...