Gambia child deaths linked to contaminated India-made cough syrups rise to 69,indiabusinessport,com

Child deaths from kidney injury linked to contaminated India-made cough syrups have risen to 69, Gambia’s Health Minister Ahmadou Lamin Samateh told journalists in Banjul Saturday. 

Samateh, who said he lost his nephew to acute kidney injury on Wednesday, told the media that three more children died as of Saturday, bringing the toll to 69. A day earlier Gambian President Adama Barrow said cases and deaths were “under control, with only two diagnoses in the last two weeks.”

Barrow had ordered the suspension of the license of the suspected pharmacy and importer of the cough syrups and ordered his foreign minister to take up the matter with the Indian ambassador to Banjul, according to a presidential statement late Saturday. 

In India, Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd. was cited by Mint as saying government agencies visited the drugmaker’s factory on four occasions from Oct. 1 to 7, and samples were taken by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization for testing.

The company was cited as saying it had valid approvals for the export of the products in question, which weren’t sold in India, and had obtained raw materials from “certified and reputed companies.”

India’s health ministry said the World Health Organisation informed the country’s drug regulator the medicines may have been contaminated with diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol.

In Gambia, the suspected pharmacy owner and importer of the cough syrups and some senior officials of the Medicines Control Agency have been called in for questioning by the police, who said they have opened an investigation into the deaths.

“As an institution responsible for internal security and the protection of lives and properties, we are duty-bound to address such compelling issues that are capable of compromising the peace and security of this nation,” police spokeswoman ASP Binta Njie Jatta said in a statement Saturday.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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