WHO demands action on tainted medicines linked to more than 300 child deaths worldwide

The World Health Organization (WHO) has demanded that countries take immediate measures to prevent, detect, and respond to instances involving substandard and counterfeit medical items.

During the past four months, numerous nations have reported situations in which over-the-counter cough syrups for children were verified or suspected to contain significant quantities of diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG).

In October, November, and January, the WHO produced three global reports based on country reports and focusing on the outbreak in the Gambia, Indonesia, and Uzbekistan, respectively.

In October 2022, as previously reported, the local health products regulator (SAHPRA) issued a warning to the public regarding questionable items that were not registered for use in South Africa.

At that time, cough syrups were linked to 33 child fatalities in the Gambia; the global death toll has already surpassed 300.

The WHO issued a statement on Monday stating, “The cases are from at least seven countries and are linked to more than 300 fatalities in three of these countries.”

“The majority are little youngsters under five years old. These pollutants include deadly industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that should never be discovered in medicines.

WHO encourages health regulators and governments to discover and remove from their markets any defective medical items recognized as possible causes of death and disease.

In addition to a list of requests for regulators, government, medication producers, suppliers, and distributors, the Organization demands that all medical items be approved for sale by authorized authorities and purchased from authorized suppliers.

Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup are the four products recognized in Gambia. Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited is named as the maker of these drugs (Haryana, India).

In Uzbekistan, the two known items are MBRONOL syrup and DOK-1 Max syrup. The manufacturer listed for both items is MARION BIOTECH PVT. LTD (Uttar Pradesh, India).

Termorex syrup (batch AUG22A06 only), Flurin DMP syrup, Unibebi Cough Syrup, Unibebi Demam Paracetamol Drops, Unibebi Demam Paracetamol Syrup, Paracetamol Drops (made by PT Afi Farma), Paracetamol Syrup (mint) (produced by PT Afi Farma), and Vipcol Syrup have

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