Global alerts over cough syrup after 66 children died — WHO


The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that four cough syrups may have contributed to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia, prompting a global alert. 

The syrups have "perhaps linked acute renal damage and 66 child deaths," it stated. 

According to the WHO, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, an Indian business that produced the drugs, has not offered assurances regarding their safety. 

The business is still silent. 

For a response, Maiden Pharmaceuticals has been contacted by the BBC. 

The drugs were identified by the WHO as Magrip N Cold Syrup, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Promethazine Oral Solution, and Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup. 

The four goods were discovered in The Gambia, but the WHO said in the alert posted on its website that they "may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions." 

It issued a warning that using them could cause severe harm or even death, particularly in kids. 

Acute kidney damage cases among children under the age of five increased in The Gambia, a major tourist destination, in late July, prompting the WHO's intervention. 

Since then, all paracetamol syrup usage in The Gambia has been suspended, and residents are being advised to use tablets instead. 

According to the WHO, laboratory examination of product samples "confirms that they contain excessive levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants." 

The compounds were poisonous, and it was noted that some of their side effects "may include abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhoea, the inability to pass urine, headache, changed mental status, and acute renal injury which may result in death." 

Last month, health officials in The Gambia reported scores of youngsters had passed away without providing a precise number. 

The loss of these young lives is beyond heartbreaking for their families, WHO director Tedros Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday in Geneva. 

According to an email from the UN health agency, the WHO stated that India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization suggested the manufacturer may have only supplied the contaminated medications to The Gambia. This information was reported by AFP news agency. 

However, according to the agency, the WHO stated that "global exposure" was possible because the "producer may have utilized the same contaminated material in other goods and disseminated them locally or overseas." 

(Source: BBC)

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