WHO issues alert over Indian-made cough syrups after deaths of 66 children in Gambia

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WHO issues alert over Indian-made cough syrups after deaths of 66 children in Gambia
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Source: Kompas)

Jakarta, IO – The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning against the use of four cough syrups made by India-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd as they could be linked to the deaths of 66 children in Gambia, Merdeka reported on Friday (7/10).

According to WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the suspected cough syrups are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.

Based on laboratory analysis, they contain “unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants” which can be toxic. The effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to urinate, headaches, altered mental state and acute kidney injury that may lead to death.

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Tedros said WHO is conducting further investigations with the pharmaceutical company and regulatory authority in India. He also urged other countries to recall the drug from circulation. (un)