Cough Syrup Deaths: WHO showed strictness on deaths due to toxic cough syrup, sought information from manufacturers
New Delhi: So far, more than 300 children have died in three countries due to drinking poisonous medicine for cough. The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating whether there is a link between those manufacturers. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
In particular, the products have been cited as having unacceptable levels of toxins. Therefore, WHO has sought further information from six manufacturers in India and Indonesia about the specific raw materials used in the production of the drugs.
Whether raw material is purchased from a single supplier
Medicines from these manufacturers have recently been linked to deaths. Along with this, information has also been sought whether the companies had bought the raw material from the same supplier. However, WHO has not named any supplier.
cough medicine is necessary or not
WHO is also considering whether to advise families globally to re-evaluate the use of cough medicine for children in general. Indeed, questions regarding the safety of some of these products remain unresolved. Experts from the World Health Organization are evaluating whether, and if so, when such products are medically necessary for children.
two known poisons
In July 2022, deaths of children with severe kidney problems began in The Gambia. After this, cases of death of children were reported in Indonesia and Uzbekistan. The WHO says the deaths have been linked to over-the-counter cough syrups given to children in common illnesses that contain diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol, a known toxin.
Preventing child deaths is a priority
To date WHO has identified six drug manufacturers in India and Indonesia who produce cough syrup. These manufacturers have either declined to comment on the investigation or denied that any deaths have been caused by the contaminated material.
WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris would not comment on the details of the organization’s work. But, he said, it is our top priority that no more children die from something that is so important to prevent.
scope of investigation extended
The UN health agency said on Monday that similar products were being sold in Cambodia, the Philippines, East Timor and Senegal. He has increased his investigation in these countries. Possible contamination of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol in cough syrup is being investigated.