Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The World Health Organization issued an international warning, calling on health authorities in various countries to take immediate measures to protect children from toxic cough medicines that caused hundreds of deaths in 3 countries last year.
In a statement, the organization said that more than 300 children, most of them under the age of five, died in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan in 2022 due to kidney problems resulting from the use of drugs containing toxic substances.
She stated that the over-the-counter cough medicine contains high levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which are toxic chemicals that can be fatal, even if taken in small amounts, and should never be used for treatment.--
The organization issued a warning to other countries where the drug might be sold, including the Philippines, East Timor, Senegal and Cambodia, calling on the 194 member states to take measures to prevent more deaths.-
The WHO had previously issued warnings in October and earlier this month, calling for the recall of cough syrups made by India’s Maiden Pharmaceuticals and Marion Biotech, which have been linked to deaths in Gambia and Uzbekistan, respectively.
It also issued another warning last year about cough medicines made by four Indonesian companies, PT Yarindo Pharmatama, PT Universal Pharmaceuticals, PT Konymix and PTIFI Pharma, which are sold locally.
For its part, the companies concerned denied that their products were contaminated or refused to comment during the investigations, according to Reuters.
The World Health Organization reiterated its call for the recall of the said products, and more broadly called on countries to ensure that medicines for sale are approved and authorized by the competent authorities.