The Gambia warns that Indian cough syrups killed 70 children in 2022

The Gambia warns that Indian cough syrups killed 70 children in 2022

July 21, 2023, 10:35 PM

July 21, 2023, 10:35 PM

A Gambian government commission of inquiry announced Friday that four cough syrups imported from India were responsible for the death of at least 70 children by acute renal failure in 2022.

The working group found several failures in regulatory controls that led to the use of these medicines, the Gambian Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, told a press conference.

The official reported the dismissal of the director of the African country’s Medicines Control Agency and his deputy, and pointed out the responsibility of a pharmacist who authorized the import of syrups without carrying out the required inspections.

In October 2022, The Gambia withdrew several drugs from its market for coughs and colds after the deaths of at least 70 children.

It also removed all products manufactured by the Indian lab Maiden Pharmaceuticalsfrom which adulterated syrups come.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these medicines contained “unacceptable” amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, Commonly used as antifreeze.

The toxic impact of these substances includes “acute kidney injury that can cause death”warned the UN agency.

The commission of inquiry concluded that the drugs they had not been registered with the drug control agency before being imported, as required by the regulation.

The group of experts urged the implementation of a stricter control of drugs in circulation and pointed out that the Executive was studying how suing the indian pharmaceutical laboratory, to obtain compensation.

A trial is due to open at the end of October in The Gambia.

India opened an investigation after the health scandal and closed the factory of Maiden Pharmaceuticals in the north of the country in October 2022.

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