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India-made cough syrups may be tied to 66 deaths in Gambia: WHO

The World Health Organization on Wednesday said that four cough and cold syrups made by India’s Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd could be potentially linked with serious kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children in Gambia.

New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals declined to comment on the matter.

WHO issued a medical product alert for the four syrups and said it was conducting further investigation with the company and regulatory authorities in India.

Gambia’s government said last month it has also been investigating the deaths, as a spike in cases of acute kidney injury among children under the age of five was detected in late July.

“While the contaminated products have so far only been detected in the Gambia they may have been distributed to other countries,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference on Wednesday.

He added that WHO recommends all countries detect and remove these products from circulation to prevent further harm to patients.

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