Indonesia bans cough syrup material linked to Gambia child deaths

The four products linked to the deaths in Gambia are not registered in Indonesia. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - Indonesia on Saturday banned ingredients linked to the deaths of 70 children in Gambia from cough syrups in the South-east Asian country as it investigates acute kidney damage that has killed more than 20 children in the capital Jakarta this year.

Food and drug regulator BPOM also said it was investigating the possibility that the ingredients, diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, had contaminated other materials that are used as solvents.

Gambia and India are investigating the deaths from acute kidney injury in the west-African country thought to be linked to cough syrups made by New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

The World Health Organisation has said it found "unacceptable" levels of the ingredients, which can be toxic, in four Maiden products.

"To provide protection to the public, BPOM has set a requirement at the time of registration that all medicinal syrup products for children and adults are not allowed to use diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG)," the regulator said in a statement.

The BPOM reiterated that the four products linked to the deaths in Gambia are not registered in Indonesia, nor any other Maiden products. REUTERS

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