The World Health Organization (WHO) urged “immediate and coordinated action” on Monday to eradicate contaminated medicines linked to the deaths of hundreds of children in Africa and Asia.
In 2022, more than 300 children died from contaminated cough syrup in the Gambia, Uzbekistan, and Indonesia. Many of the victims were children under the age of five.
The incidents are thought to be caused by the contamination of Indian and Indonesian-made cough syrups with dangerously high levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.
The WHO said, “These contaminants are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even taken in small amounts, and should never be found in medicines.”