Indonesia bans liquid medicine after Indian-made cough syrups cause deaths of 70 children in West Africa

The ban is imposed by the health ministry of the country and will continue to implement until the authorities complete the investigation

Indonesia bans liquid medicine after Indian-made cough syrups cause deaths of 70 children in West Africa

Indonesia has seen an unexplained surge in child deaths and a spike in cases of acute kidney injuries recently. Following the deaths, the country has banned sale of all syrups and liquid medication.

The ban is imposed by the health ministry of the country and will continue to implement until the authorities complete the investigation of unregistered medical syrups. The syrups being targeted are suspected to contain toxic, harmful ingredients.

According to Health Ministry spokesperson, Muhammad Syahril, more than 200 cases of acute kidney injuries and 99 deaths of children, majority of them under the age group of 6, are being investigated.

He also revealed that for precautionary purposes, the health care workers have been instructed not to recommend any sort of liquid medication temporarily. Moreover, it is drug stores are also advised not to sale any sort of non-prescribed syrups until the investigation is completed.

The ban was imposed after World Health Organisation (WHO) found a link between four Indian-made cough syrups and the deaths of more than 50 children which suffered from acute kidney failure in The Gambia, West Africa. Moreover, a factory making medicines was also shut down in New Delhi.

WHO suspects that the four above mentioned syrups, made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, which included Kofexmalin baby cough syrup, Makoff baby cough syrup, Magrip N cold syrup and Promethazine oral solution contained harmful amounts of chemicals that could cause great damage to livers, kidneys, lungs and brains.

Although the syrups used in The Gambia were not available in Indonesia, Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin claimed that traces of diethylene glucol and ethylene glycol, which are used in plastics, cosmetics and pains, were found in the liquid medicines used at the home of these child patients.

Sadikin said that the chemicals were harmful and hence, shouldn’t have been a part of the medicines.

It was also said that the number of cases of acute kidney failure might be higher than the ones reported so far.

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