The panel added that the exact scientific cause of the children’s deaths was still under investigation…reports Asian Lite News
A parliamentary committee in The Gambia has recommended prosecution of an Indian manufacturer of cough syrups suspected of causing the deaths of at least 70 children in the West African country.
After weeks of investigation, the Gambian parliamentary committee has now recommended that authorities should take tough measures, including banning all Maiden Pharmaceuticals products in the country and taking legal action against the firm, reports the BBC.
“The findings remain the same with the previous reports which indicates that Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup were contaminated with diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol,” the parliamentary committee said in its report.
Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans and could be fatal if consumed. But the panel added that the exact scientific cause of the children’s deaths was still under investigation.
The committee also wanted the country’s Medicine Control Agency to ensure all medicines imported into the country are properly registered and background checks conducted on manufacturers, including visiting their facilities, reports the BBC.
The report also revealed inadequacies in the country’s healthcare system urging the government to strengthen it and provide better equipment and medicines to hospitals.
In late July, The Gambia detected an increase in cases of acute kidney injury among children under the age of five.
The government later said around 69 children had died from these injuries.
The WHO then identified four of the Maiden Pharmaceuticals’ medicines as potentially linked to the deaths of the Gambian children and issued a global alert.
But Maiden Pharmaceuticals had denied the allegations, the BBC reported.
Government labs in India said their tests on the syrups found that they were “complying with specifications”.
An Indian official said last week that the WHO was “presumptuous” in blaming the syrups.
But the global health body told the BBC it was only following its mandate and “stands by the action taken”.