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Ndokwa Vanguard

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WHO raises alarm about an unsafe cough syrup in Cameroon

Jul 20, 2023 #News

The World Health Organization has raised an alarm about a cough syrup which contains unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol as contaminants in Cameroon. 

The WHO said samples of the syrup, “Naturcold”, were made available to WHO on June 27 and analysed in a contracted and prequalified laboratory where the contaminant was uncovered. 

The health agency which expressed fear of the syrup spreading to neighbouring countries, noted that diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed and can prove fatal.

The statement read; 

“The stated manufacturer of the affected product is listed on the product packaging as Fraken International (England). The United Kingdom national regulatory authority, the MHRA, has confirmed that no such company exists in the UK.

“Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed and can prove fatal. Enquires are still underway to determine the origin of the product. Therefore, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products.

“The product referenced in this Alert may have marketing authorizations in other countries or regions. It may also have been distributed through informal markets to neighboring countries.

“The substandard products referenced in this Alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death. Toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.

“If you have the affected product, WHO recommends that you do not use it. If you, or someone you know, has or may have used the affected product, or suffered an adverse reaction or unexpected side-effect after use, you are advised to seek immediate medical advice from a healthcare professional.

“WHO requests increased surveillance and diligence within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected by these products. Increased surveillance of the informal/unregulated market is also advised.”

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