Gambia Cough Syrup: Police To Probe Death Of 66 Kids

Gambia Cough Syrup: Barrow To Probe Death Of 66 Children
Gambia Cough Syrup: Barrow To Probe Death Of 66 Children (Photo via-Gambia State House0

At least two children are reported to have died of acute kidney failure in the past three months, and about 66 in total as Police launch investigation into Gambia cough syrup suspects, AFP reports.

The World Health Organization has since recommended the withdrawal of 4 syrups, the report said.

Gambian police said on Saturday they had opened an investigation into the deaths of 66 children who died of acute kidney failure, in which cough syrups produced in India are suspected.

“The Gambia Police Force is establishing an Investigation Unit to immediately investigate and identify those responsible for this irreparable loss and bring them to justice,” it said in a statement.

The full statement reads:

Following the demise of sixty-six children whose horrific deaths are largely associated with Acute Kidney Injury, The Gambia Police Force Sets up an investigation panel to immediately probe into the matter to identify those responsible for such an irreparable loss and hold them adequately accountable.

As an institution responsible for internal security and the protection of lives and properties, we are duty-bound to address such compelling issues that are capable of compromising the peace and security of this Nation.

In our bid to swiftly respond to this national security issue, the office of the Inspector General of Police has constituted an investigation panel consisting of senior police officers with the prerequisite knowledge and relevant skills relating to this important matter at hand.

While the general public is assured of our ardent resolve of exhausting all accountability measures, we call for calm and restraint in this difficult time.”

The group is made up of senior police officers with the required skills, she said, while calling on the population to calm down.

Gambia Cough Syrup Suspects “Concern” of the Gambian authorities

The report by AFP, alos revealed that the presidency announced that it had instructed Foreign Affairs to contact the Indian ambassador to express the government’s “deepest concern”.

President Adama Barrow also instructed to suspend the license of the importer of the syrups in question, the presidency said in a statement.

The president had assured Friday evening that “the government (would do) everything to elucidate these events”. He had announced certain measures against the importation of non-compliant drugs. But his intervention drew criticism for his lack of vigor and empathy.

The presidency announced on Saturday evening the dispatch of a high-level delegation to the families to “share their grief”.

Suspected paracetamol syrups

The death of 66 children in the past three months is causing a stir in this small West African country. The Gambian authorities suspect paracetamol and promethazine syrups, which they have ordered recalled.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an alert on Wednesday and recommended the withdrawal everywhere of four cough and cold syrups produced by the Indian laboratory Maiden Pharmaceuticals and which “may have a link” with the deaths recorded in The Gambia.

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