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The Gambia Seeks Justice Against Firms that Sold Deadly Cough Syrup

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged member countries to take immediate action on sub-standard medicines to prevent child deaths. Since October, seven countries have reported incidents of contaminated medicines containing diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG) – these are toxic chemicals used for industrial purposes. Last year, 300 children in total died aged five and younger in The Gambia, Uzbekistan and Indonesia after taking sub-standard medicines that caused acute kidney injuries. In all instances, the WHO issued a global alert demanding countries to immediately withdraw the medicines from the market and increase surveillance to detect them. In The Gambia, a parliamentary committee recommended the prosecution of Maiden Pharmaceuticals, the Indian manufacturers of cough syrups linked to the deaths of at least 70 children.