contaminated syrups

ALERT: WHO warns of possible circulation of contaminated baby syrups

Barely a month after it raised an alarm of killer baby syrup in the  Gambia, the World Health Organization has again alerted the world on the possible circulation of eight substandard and contaminated baby syrup products. 

What are the names of the syrups?

The WHO medical product alert identified the products in the WHO region of South-East Asia. In the new Medical Product Alert No: 7/2022 titled ‘Substandard (contaminated) Pediatric Liquid dosage medicine’, released yesterday, Wednesday, November 2, 2022, WHO revealed that the products were identified in Indonesia and reported by the national regulatory authority earlier in October.

According to the report, the eight products include the followings:

  1. Termorex syrup
  2. Florin DMP syrup
  3. Unibebi cough syrup
  4. Unibebi Demam paracetamol Drops
  5. Unibebi Deman paracetamol syrup
  6. Paracetamol drops
  7. Paracetamol syrup(mint)
  8. Vipcol syrup

Why are they tagged as harmful?

WHO said after laboratory checks and analysis were carried out on the samples of the baby syrups in Indonesia, they were found to contain more than the required amount of ethylene glycol and or diethylene glycol as contaminants, thereby making them unsafe for consumption.

The report also added that the products may have found their way, through marketing authorization, or may have been distributed, through informal markets to other countries or regions.

You would recall that on October 6, 2022, WHO issued a similar alert on the existence of four killer cough syrups made by India-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals which were linked with acute kidney injuries that resulted in the death of 66 children in the  Gambia.

The Cable reported the four cough syrup products on the alert list were:

  • Promethazine Oral solution
  • Kofexmalin baby cough syrup
  • Makoff baby cough syrup
  • Magrip N Cold syrup

A similar reason for the four products containing “an unacceptable amount of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants” was given by WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghereyesus, in a statement he issued on the matter last month.

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