Cough-syrup scandal: How did it end up in The Gambia?

The deaths of nearly 70 children in The Gambia, linked to cough syrups made in India, are being investigated amid concerns about effective regulation of the manufacture and trade in medicines.

Last week, the World Heath Organization (WHO) issued a global alert over four brands of cough syrups, saying they could be linked to acute kidney damage, following reports from The Gambia of children diagnosed with serious kidney problems.

Laboratory analysis of the syrups “confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants”, according to the WHO.

The Indian authorities and the cough syrup manufacturer, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, say these syrups have been exported to The Gambia only.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals says it adheres to internationally recognised quality-control standards.

But some of its products have failed to meet national or state-level quality-control standards in India.

Official records there show the company:

It is also among…

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