WHO flags Indian cough syrups after 66 kids die in Africa

New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) raised an alert against four India-made cough and cold syrups whose consumption may have led to the death of more than 60 children in The Gambia, a country in west Africa.

“The WHO has today issued a medical product alert for four contaminated medicines identified in The Gambia that have been potentially linked with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children. The four medicines are cough and cold syrups produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited in Haryana, India,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference in Geneva.

He said the UN health body was conducting further investigation with the company and regulatory authorities in India. “The loss of these young lives is beyond heartbreaking for their families,” Ghebreyesus added.

While the contaminated products have so far only been detected in The Gambia, the WHO asked other nations to be on alert as they may have been distributed to other countries. The four products are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup.

According to the UN health body’s medical product alert, laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants. The manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products.

Image courtesy of (Photo: maidenpharma.com)

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