Health

WHO warns of cough syrup related to dozens of deaths of children


WHO warns that four types of cough and cold syrup produced by an Indian company may be linked to 66 children’s deaths in Gambia.

Four products are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup, manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals. On October 5, the organization said the manufacturer had failed to provide guarantees about the safety and quality of the products.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals declined to comment, while the Ministry of Health and India’s drug regulator did not respond to the incident.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), laboratory analysis showed that the syrups contained “unacceptably high” amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic and lead to acute kidney injury. count.

WHO received information from the Central Organization for Control of Drugs in India, stating that the manufacturer only supplies these syrups to Gambia. However, WHO does not rule out the possibility of the syrup being circulated through unofficial markets or sold “unregulated” to countries in Africa.

“Additionally, the manufacturer may have used the same contaminated material in other products and distributed them domestically or for export. Therefore, global exposure could have occurred,” the United Nations agency said. National warning.

WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was investigating further with companies and regulators in India. He also called on countries to be cautious and step in to detect and remove products from the market, ensuring the safety of people.

In July, health workers in the Gambia sounded the alarm after dozens of children suffered acute kidney damage. Many children under the age of 5 are hospitalized after taking a locally sold paracetamol syrup.

The director of Gambia Health Services, Mustapha Bittaye, said similar problems had been detected in other syrups but the Ministry of Health was waiting to confirm the results. Meanwhile, the agency asked hospitals to stop using paracetamol syrup.

Mr. Mustapha said the number of child deaths had been decreasing in recent weeks and the sale of products made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals had been banned. However, some syrups are still sold in private clinics and hospitals.

Chile (Follow SCMP, Reuters)

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