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WHO Is Looking Into Deaths Linked To Cough Syrup

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WHO Is Looking Into Deaths Linked To Cough Syrup

According to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to Reuters, the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking into if there is any connection between the manufacturers whose tainted cough syrups it has linked to the deaths of more than 300 children in three countries.

The WHO is looking for more information about the specific raw materials used by six manufacturers in India and Indonesia to produce the medicines linked to the recent deaths, as well as whether the businesses obtained them from some of the same suppliers, the person said, citing “unacceptable levels” of toxins in the products. The WHO has not identified any vendors.

In light of ongoing concerns about the safety of some of these medicines, the WHO is also debating whether to encourage families worldwide to reevaluate the use of cough syrups for kids in general. The person claimed that WHO experts are assessing the evidence to determine whether or when such items are medically necessary for youngsters.

Beginning in Gambia in July 2022, cases of pediatric acute renal damage spread to Indonesia and Uzbekistan. According to the WHO, the deaths were caused by youngsters using over-the-counter cough syrups for common illnesses that included either diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol, two known toxins.

The organization has so far identified six medicine manufacturers who made the syrups in Indonesia and India.

These producers either chose not to comment on the inquiry or denied utilizing contaminated products that were a factor in any fatalities. The corporations the WHO has named are not guilty of any misconduct, according to Reuters.

Without going into additional information about the specifics of the organization’s efforts, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris stated, “This is of the highest priority for us, to see no more child deaths from something that is so preventable.”

Widened Investigation

The United Nations health organization announced on Monday that it had expanded its investigation into possible diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol contamination in cough syrups to four additional countries, including Cambodia, the Philippines, East Timor, and Senegal, where the same products may have been sold. It urged other countries and the international pharmaceutical sector to conduct immediate audits in order to weed out inferior medications and strengthen control.

Read also: NAFDAC issues warning regarding toxic cough syrups

According to national and international regulations, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) stated in an email statement on Tuesday that its members “are already doing what the WHO is calling for.”

A news conference later on Tuesday is when the WHO is anticipated to make additional comments regarding the cough syrup issue.

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