The Gambia, a small West African country, is facing a series of infant deaths recently. 66 children have died reportedly from active kidney injuries. This has caused a wave of concern in the country. The reason behind the sudden deaths in the Gambia is linked with cough syrups manufactured and exported by an Indian pharmaceutical company in Haryana. While the parents of deceased children demand justice for their sons and daughters, here’s an insight into the news of India made cough syrups causing deaths in Gambia.
Deaths in Gambia Caused By Haryana-Based Company
Due to the case of Indian cough syrup Gambia, parents of the children who lost their lives informed the press about how these deaths took place. According to them, the children were given cough syrup to relieve them of the seasonal cough and cold symptoms.
Although the symptoms were cured, a new problem arose with the children. They suffered from fever and did not pass urine ever since the consumption of the medicine. The doctors diagnosed the kids with malaria and started their courses of medicine but the condition of the children continued to worsen. And after limited attempts, the children lost their lives.
Deaths caused by the Indian cough syrup Gambia are in a fit of widespread anger among the parents as they blame the country’s healthcare system and demand persecution of the responsible company.
What Does WHO Say About India Made Cough Syrups In The Gambia?
WHO has voiced its concern over India made cough syrups; highlighting four of the products manufactured by a Haryana-based company Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd. namely, Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
On 5th October, WHO issued an alert citing that the products contained ‘unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants’. This may be the cause of infant deaths but hasn’t been officially linked as a reason by the organization.
India’s Take On Indian Cough Syrup Deaths In Gambia
After receiving the issue from WHO, India’s Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ordered the samples of the medicines to be tested for contamination.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had also collaborated with Haryana’s state authority and has launched a thorough investigation regarding the Indian cough syrup Gambia parents had to face a huge loss for. In a recent result, out of 23, 4 samples tested positive for the contamination of ethylene or diethylene glycol.
While it is not the first time that India-made medicines are questioned, it certainly raises a concern about the drug standard controllers of both countries. According to the protocol, any drug exported from India must be tested in the receiving country. But there are speculations on whether the African authorities carried out their responsibilities or not. We’ll have to wait for the final verdict as per both countries’ responses to the WHO.
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