Health officials urge caution on lethal cough syrups

by Echezona obinna

Dr. Oyebanji Filani, the chairman of the Nigerian Health Commissioners’ Forum, has warned Nigerians to avoid using particular cough syrups that have killed more than 66 children in the West African nation of Gambia.

Oyebanji, the Ekiti State Health Commissioner, asked Nigerians to start looking for the syrups, which he described as “Promethazine Oral Solution BP, Kofexmalin- Baby Cough syrup, MaKOFF Baby and MaGrip n Cold Syrup.”

In a statement released in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday under the heading “Health commissioners’ forum warns against use of four tainted cough syrups,” the NHCF urged parents of children exhibiting symptoms including diarrhoea and headache to consult a doctor.

Oyebanji said that the World Health Organisation had directed the removal of the drugs from circulation to prevent further harm.

He stated, “The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedross Ghebreyasus, noted that these syrups contain two toxic products usually used as a solvent and an anti-freeze agent which have been confirmed to cause acute kidney injuries among children.
“The WHO added that the toxic products are colourless and almost odourless, which makes it difficult to detect.”


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The NHCF chairman added that the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, had confirmed that the said drugs were not registered in Nigeria.
Oyebanji said, “The Forum will continue to work with NAFDAC and other relevant authorities to ensure that such products, if found in country, are taken off the shelf to ensure safety of all Nigerians.”

Oyebanji, who assured of the Forum’s commitment to promoting Nigerians’ health and wellbeing, urged everyone to take personal responsibility of completely removing such injurious products out of circulation if found either from their pharmaceutical and patent medicine stores or their various homes in Nigeria.


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