The World Health Organization (WHO) has demanded immediate action to stop the spread of tainted medications and infant cough syrup-related deaths. Three worldwide medical alerts have also been released by the UN health agency.
To combat tainted drugs, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for “rapid and comprehensive action.” The change follows many child fatalities associated with cough syrups that were reported in 2022.
More than 300 children, mostly under the age of five, died of acute renal injury in Gambia, Indonesia, and Uzbekistan on Monday, according to a statement from the WHO. These deaths were linked to tainted medications. The drugs, which were over-the-counter cough syrups, included significant amounts of ethylene and diethylene glycol.
Words from The UN Health Agency
The Philippines, Timor Leste, Senegal, and Cambodia may also be impacted because the drugs may be sold in those countries, according to the UN health agency. Additionally, it urged its 194 member governments to take steps to stop such fatalities.
Since these occurrences are not unique, WHO urged all significant parties involved in the medical supply chain to act quickly and in concert.
Three Global Medical Alerts
Countries have reported several occurrences involving children’s over-the-counter cough syrups that were confirmed or suspected to have excessive levels of diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol contamination over the past four months (EG).
These contaminants are dangerous substances that are used as antifreeze and industrial solvents and can be harmful even in little doses. They should never be present in medications.