There is no confirmation yet if toxic cough syrup caused acute kidney injury in 70 children and killed them, a Gambia government official said. Indian government officials questioned the administration of cough syrup to the kids given the fact that they were suffering from diarrhoea.
The Gambia government has said that there is no confirmation yet if India-made cough syrup killed 70 kids in October. (Representative pic: GettyImages)
By Milan Sharma: Gambia has not yet confirmed that toxic cough syrup was the cause of the deaths of 70 children from acute kidney injury, news agency Reuters reported, quoting a representative of the country’s Medicines Control Agency.
Meanwhile, sources in the Indian government said that the autopsy reports of the children who died revealed that they had Escherichia coli (E Coli) and suffered from diarrhoea. Then why were they being given a cough syrup,” a government official asked.
The WHO in October issued a medical product alert for four contaminated medicines identified in Gambia that had been linked with acute kidney injuries and 70 deaths among children. The spike in cases of acute kidney injury among children under the age of five was detected in late July. As cases mounted, doctors began to suspect medicines could be involved, Reuters reported.
According to WHO, the four medicines are cough and cold syrups produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited in India. Following the alert, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation launched a probe. The Haryana state drug officials later found glaring lapses during the inspection of the manufacturing facility of Maiden Pharma, the firm whose cough syrup was linked to the Gambian kids’ deaths.
On Monday, Tijan Jallow, an official at Gambia’s Medicines Control Agency, the drugs regulator of the country, said that the exact cause of the deaths had not been pinpointed yet. “We haven’t concluded yet it is the medicine that caused it. A good number of kids died without taking any medications,” Jallow said. “Other kids died. We have tested the medications that they took and they are good,” he added.