Four cough syrups have been the subject of a global alert after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning that they may have contributed to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
According to the report, the syrups “may be related to severe renal damage and 66 child fatalities.”
The products were created by an Indian business called Maiden Pharmaceuticals, which according to the WHO had not given assurances on their safety. The business has not yet responded.
Maiden Pharmaceuticals has been contacted by the BBC for comment.
According to Indian officials, they have requested the WHO to provide proof linking the syrups to the deaths.
Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup were the medications named by the WHO.
The WHO said in the alert posted on its website that although the four goods had been discovered in The Gambia, they “may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions.”
It issued a warning that using them could cause severe harm or even death, particularly in minors.
Medical authorities in The Gambia, a major tourist destination, discovered an upsurge in instances of acute renal damage among children under the age of five in late July, prompting the WHO’s intervention.
Since then, the government of The Gambia has prohibited the consumption of all paracetamol syrups and advised citizens to take pills instead.
The products “confirm that they contain inappropriate quantities of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants,” according to laboratory analysis of product samples, according to the WHO.
The symptoms of the poisonous compounds, according to the document, “may include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, the inability to pass urine, headache, changed mental status, and severe renal injury which may result in death,” among others, were listed.
Health officials in The Gambia stated last month that scores of children had already away without providing a precise figure.
In an address on Wednesday in Geneva, WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus said, “The loss of these young lives is beyond heart-breaking for their families.”
According to an email from the UN health agency, the WHO stated that India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization suggested that the firm may have only delivered the contaminated medications to The Gambia.
The producer “may have utilized the same contaminated material in other products and distributed them locally or overseas,” according to the agency, raising the possibility of “global exposure.”