On October 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a notification which mentioned four Indian cough syrups that could have possibly killed 66 children in West African country Gambia since July 2022. The manufacturer of these syrups is the Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited.
These syrups are alleged to have caused caused acute kidney injury to the children because of which many died.
The four cough syrups are:
What WHO said: The health governing body said that the laboratory samples of all the four syrups showed that they contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.
How did this come to light? The medical officers in Gambia had raised alarm in July when several children had reported serious kidney problems.
India's response: A health official confirmed to The Hindu that WHO on September 29 had informed the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) that it was providing technical assistance to Gambia where children had died and the contributing factor was suspected to be the use of medicines manufactured in India which may have been contaminated with diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol.
After this, the matter was taken up immediately by the state authorities. Further, a detailed investigation was launched to ascertain the facts/details in the matter in collaboration with the State Drugs Controller, Haryana.