Gambia Mulls Legal Action After Children's Cough Syrup Deaths

The Minister of Health, Ahmad Lamin Samateh, has confirmed to the media, that the deaths of seventy children were as a result of Acute Kidney Injury disease.

He made these statements during the launching of the Presidential Task Force Report on the causes of death of seventy Gambian children, whose death is attributed to the consumption of toxic levels of Ethylene Glycol and Diethylene Glycol found in four syrups namely, promethazine oral solution BP, Kofexmaline baby cough syrup, MakoFF baby cough syrup and MaGrip cold syrup.

The report prompted the government to permanently revoke the importation license of Atlantic Pharmaceutical Company Limited and their directors. The task force also recommended that the refer the matter of Sait Kebbeh, the Supervising Pharmacist for Atlantic Pharmaceuticals to the Pharmacy Council for appropriate disciplinary action.

Followed that recommendations, the government on July 21, 2023 announced it had fired the executive and deputy executive directors of the Medical Control Agency. The government also said it's far advanced in exploring avenues for "potential legal" action against Maiden Pharmaceuticals and Atlantic Pharmaceuticals, as well as a potential redress through engagement with the Indian government. Indian health authorities halted all production at the main factory of Maiden Pharmaceuticals near New Delhi after its cough syrups were linked to the deaths.

The recent deaths of over 300 children in Africa and Asia prompted the World Health Organization to warn against the use of "substandard and falsified" medicinal products. The organisation called for more efforts to protect children from contaminated medicine.


(file photo).


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