The sale of all syrup and liquid medications has been halted in Indonesia because of the over 100 child fatalities there as reported by BBC.
Only a few weeks prior, approximately 70 children’s deaths in The Gambia were attributed to cough syrup.
Acute kidney injuries (AKI), which have claimed the lives of 99 young children this year, have been connected to chemicals in some syrup medicines, according to Indonesia.
It is unclear whether the medication was manufactured locally or imported.
Health officials in Indonesia recorded 200 cases of AKI in children on Thursday, the majority of them were under five years old.
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert earlier this month regarding four cough syrups that were suspected of being responsible for nearly 70 child fatalities in The Gambia.
The WHO discovered “unacceptable quantities” of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol in the syrups used there, which were produced by an Indian pharmaceutical business. According to the organization, the syrups have “perhaps been related to acute kidney damage.”
The same chemical substances were also discovered in certain locally used drugs, according to Indonesia’s Health Minister on Thursday.
According to Budi Gunadi Sadikin, “Some syrups used by AKI pediatric patients under five were proved to include ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol that was not supposed to be there, or in extremely small amounts.
He did not, however, say how many cases featured the dangerous drugs.
The cough syrups used in The Gambia, according to Indonesian authorities, were not available there.
The actual death toll may be far greater than what has been reported, according to one epidemiologist.
Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Griffith University, told BBC Indonesia that when incidents like these occur, “[all we know is] the tip of the iceberg, which means there could be far more victims.”
The brands or varieties of syrup medications connected to sick children have not yet been released by Indonesian authorities, who have instead temporarily banned the sale and prescription of all syrup and liquid medications.
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