Cough syrup kills six children in Cameroon

Tags: International News

Cough-syrup-kills-six-children-in-CameroonCough medicine has killed six children in the African country of Cameroon in the past months. In this context, the World Health Organization (WHO) has sought help from the Indian authorities to find out where it was prepared.

An Overview of the news:

  • The UN health organization WHO issued a warning on 19 July 2023 that the recent deaths of six children in Cameroon may be linked to a cough syrup sold under the name Naturcold.

Toxic chemical called diethylene glycol:

  • A large amount of a toxic chemical called diethylene glycol has been found in this cough syrup.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, the amount of diethylene glycol in the medicine should not be more than 0.1 per cent, but its quantity has been found up to 28.6 per cent in Naturecold.

Fraken International (England) mentions:

  • The manufacturer's name on the bottle of the drug is Fracon International (England), but health officials in the United Kingdom have told the WHO that there is no company with that name in their country.
  • After this WHO has contacted Indian authorities and requested to talk to Indian drug manufacturers and find out where this drug is being manufactured.

These medicines have also been related to India:

  • Over the past few months, several cases of toxic chemicals in cough medicines have been reported, some of which have been related to medicines made in India.
  • In the year 2022, more than 300 children in Gambia, Uzbekistan and Indonesia were reported to have died due to cough medicine. In most cases the drugs were manufactured by Indian companies.

Strict rules apply on these drugs in India:

  • In May 2023, the Government of India had issued an order that cough medicine to be exported would have to take a certificate. Which will be issued after very stringent tests and this test will be done in a government laboratory.
  • The Ministry of Commerce had issued this directive in May, which has been implemented from June 1.

India's $41 billion pharmaceutical industry:

  • The $41 billion pharmaceutical industry in India is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world.
  • But for the past few months, India's pharmaceutical industry has been embroiled in international controversies as people have died due to drugs made in India in Gambia, Uzbekistan and the US.
  • In the year 2023 itself, poisonous elements were found in some medicines in Marshall Islands and Micronesia, but there was no case of death.

India leading in manufacturing of cheap toxic chemicals:

  • Many medicines of the world are manufactured by different companies of this type of cheap toxic chemicals, but in three out of four cases, the medicines are manufactured in India.

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