The Centre is investigating the deaths of at least 66 children in The Gambia that the World Health Organization (WHO) said may be linked to a cough syrup made in India, news agency Reuters quoted two of its sources from the Union health ministry as saying on Thursday.
The cough syrups have been manufactured by M/s Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited in Haryana’s Sonepat, another news report stated. It further quoted its sources as saying that as per the information available at this point, it seems the firm had exported these products only to The Gambia.
Tentative results of four samples received by WHO of the 23 samples tested were found to contain “unacceptable” amounts of Diethylene Glycol/Ethylene Glycol, which can be toxic and lead to acute kidney injury.
Sources said that the WHO informed that the certificate of analysis will be made available to the organisation shortly, and it will then share that with the Indian government. Sources confirmed that WHO has been requested to share at the earliest with CDSCO the report on establishment of causal relation to death with the medical products in question, photographs of labels and products etc,which is now awaited.
"WHO has today issued a medical product alert for four contaminated medicines identified in #Gambia that have been potentially linked with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children. The loss of these young lives is beyond heartbreaking for their families"-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 5, 2022
The WTO on October 5 issued a medical product alert on four contaminated medicines in Gambia. The four substandard (contaminated) paediatric medicines identified by the WHO are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
The agency informed the Drugs Controller General of India of the deaths late last month after which the regulator launched an investigation with state authorities, in tandem with the WHO probe, Reuters quoted its sources as saying. Maiden manufactured and exported the syrup only to the West African nation, they added.
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