Sunday, December 4

Justice For 66+ Campaign Calls on MCA to Withdraw its Insensitive Statement on AKI Deaths

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

By Kebba Ansu Manneh

Justice For 66+ Campaign, a right group seeking justice for the death of more than seventy (70) innocent children in the country who allegedly died of contaminated drugs produced by the Maiden Pharmaceutical Company of India has made a clarion call to the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) to withdraw its insensitive statement made recently by one of the agency’s staff at a joint press conference organised by Ministry of Health and WHO.

The campaigners observed that it is unethical and improper for the MCA to issue statements publicly on the causes of AKI deaths since such statements could undermine and distract the current ongoing investigations launched by both the Gambia Police Force and the National Assembly Select Committee on Health.

Justice For 66+ Campaigners made this reaction at a press conference held on Friday 4th November 2022, where they said if MCA has any information relating to this matter, they should rather provide it to the police and the National Assembly.

Their reactions come barely one week after when Ministry of Health, WHO, and MCA held a joint press conference recently where an official of MCA disclosed that the majority of the children who died of AKI did not take any medication associated with the alleged contaminated syrups ordered from Madian Pharmaceutical company of India.

“The Justice For 66+ Campaign hereby registers its deep concern and total disapproval of the press conference convened by the Medicine Control Agency held on Monday, October 31. We are aware that both the Gambia Police Force and the National Assembly Select Committee on Health are currently conducting investigations on the AKI outbreak,” Justice For 66+ Campaign disclosed at the presser.

They added: “One of the institutions that are a subject of investigation is the Medicine Control Agency (MCA) since it is an institution that is mandated by law to control the importation and export as well as the registration of medicines in the country. We do not think that it is ethical and proper for the MCA to issue statements publicly on the causes of AKI since this could serve to undermine and distract the current ongoing investigations.”

According to Justice For 66+ Campaign, if MCA has any information relating to this matter, they should rather provide it to the police and the National Assembly, noting that the agency is not mandated to investigate AKI deaths crisis which took place under its watchful eyes.

“We the victims are hugely disturbed by the claims from MCA that 90 to 95% of AKI cases are caused by bacteria and different virus species. We find this claim to be disingenuous which is only intended to shift attention away from the tainted syrups hence exonerate not only MCA, Pharmacy Council, and the Ministry of Health but also protect the Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd and the Indian Government as well,” JusticeFor66+ Campaign disclosed in its reaction to the joint MoH, WHO and MCA presser.

“While we do recognize the unprecedented rainfalls this year and the widespread flooding in the country, we, the parents of AKI victims state that our children did not suffer from injuries to their kidneys because they drank contaminated water. What we have noticed with our children was that they only got sick the moment we gave them these tainted syrups, which have been certified by the WHO as unsafe and substandard,” Justice For 66+ Campaign added:

They explained further that the symptoms their children suffered from are the same symptoms that children in Indonesia also suffer which have all been linked to the four Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd syrups, thus calling on MCA to withdraw this insensitive and false claim and from henceforth refrain from releasing public statements that hurt victims.

“We are calling on the Minister of Health Dr. Amadou Lamin Samateh to protect the integrity of the AKI investigations by making sure that MCA does not interfere by creating conflicting and unsubstantiated narratives. MCA has not been mandated by the President nor the National Assembly to investigate the AKI cases. For that matter, MCA should restrain itself by cooperating with the Inspector General of Police and the National Assembly in their investigations,” AKI Victims Campaigners submitted.

They added: “While awaiting the results of the ongoing investigations, we demand that these investigations be conducted in an impartial, diligent, and professional manner with the sole objective of delivering justice.”

Share.