Saturday, December 3

No conclusion over Gambia syrup deaths – health authorities

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Health authorities in The Gambia have said they have still not reached a formal conclusion as to whether four contaminated syrups were the cause of death of at least 70 children in the country.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a preliminary police investigation linked the death of the children to the contaminated Indian-made cough syrups and issued a global alert.

Not all the 70 children that died had consumed the contaminated cough syrups, Gambian health officials said.

Although the syrups are the main suspect, acute kidney injury can also be caused by multiple sources, they said, and are still carrying out investigations to scientifically conclude the cause of death.

The country has recorded 82 cases of acute kidney injury and 12 recoveries since July this year.

The syrups contain toxic substances used in car antifreeze systems and brake fluid.

The authorities have been able to recall over 40,000 bottles of syrups and the license of the importer has been withdrawn.

The Gambia’s parliamentary health committee is conducting an investigation and President Adama Barrow has also set up a commission of inquiry expected to propose measures to prevent future occurrences.