WHO seeks help from India in latest toxic syrup case.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has respectfully requested the assistance of the Indian authorities in determining the genesis of a contaminated cough syrup that has been associated with the unfortunate loss of young lives in Cameroon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested assistance from the Indian authorities in determining the source of a contaminated cough syrup that has been associated with the unfortunate deaths of children in Cameroon.

The WHO logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva. File photo used for representation. (Reuters)

The United Nations agency issued a warning on Wednesday regarding a branded syrup known as Naturcold. This syrup, which was sold in Cameroon, has been linked by local authorities to the unfortunate deaths of at least six children. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the syrup was found to contain dangerously high levels of the toxic contaminant diethylene glycol.

The packaging of Naturcold indicates that Fraken International (England) is the manufacturer, however, the UK regulatory body informed the World Health Organization that there is no record of such a company’s existence.

The World Health Organization (WHO) addressed India’s regulatory body after issuing an alert on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the organization informed Reuters that they sought assistance in contacting Indian companies that may be implicated. Additionally, the spokesperson stated that they have reached out to other countries as well.

The notification regarding Naturcold is the most recent among a series of comparable advisories that have been issued in recent months concerning the distribution of contaminated cough syrups on a global scale.

In 2022, it was discovered that medicines were connected to the unfortunate demise of over 300 children in Gambia, Uzbekistan, and Indonesia. Additionally, an earlier report highlighted contaminated medicines in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, although no fatalities were reported in those regions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized that this threat persists.

All of the syrups are manufactured by various producers, although in three out of the four cases, they are of Indian origin. The fatalities in Indonesia were associated with domestically manufactured syrups.

The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed that this pattern indicates a crucial focus on collaborating with India in order to gather additional information regarding the incident in Cameroon. Previously, the organization highlighted the challenges faced in obtaining more information about cough syrup incidents and the associated supply chains due to a lack of cooperation from the Indian authorities and drug manufacturers.

Officials in India and Cameroon have not provided an immediate response to the requests for comment.

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