New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) has failed to respond to the Government of India’s requirement for relevant documents for further investigation into the deaths of 70 children in Gambia and cough syrups made by Sonipat-based Indian company Maiden pharmaceuticals, sources said.
The Committee formed by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to investigate this matter has so far conducted three meetings and reviewed the matter.
But without the sample results, WHO’s reply, and lack of evidence, the Committee has put the further investigation on hold and is no longer conducting meetings, sources told ANI.
As per sources, India’s drug regulator has written several times to the international body but there has been no response. The team tried to contact the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) regarding more information on this matter but there was no response. Earlier, citing the representative of the country’s Medicines Control Agency, Gambian media reports said it has not yet been confirmed that toxic cough syrup was the cause of the deaths of 70 children from acute kidney injury.
Tijan Jallow, the regulatory officer of Gambia’s Medicines Control Agency (MCA) told a newspaper that, “95 per cent of kids that died from the acute Kidney injuries are from flooded areas.”
Last month, WHO said the clinical investigations in The Gambia are still ongoing. “…But the fact is, from the WHO perspective, the investigation into the causal relationship between the use of medication, contaminated, substandard medication and deaths, this investigation and any further information has to be provided by the Ministry of Health in Gambia,” said Dr Mariangela Simao, during a virtual press conference.
“We’re working very closely with them,” she added.