Alert on substandard infants’ killer drugs

By Mary Poni

The South Sudan Drugs and Food Control Authority (DFCA) is taking concern on the medical product alert No. 6/2022 which is a serious case for internal people especially the babies.

The Director General for Inspection and Surveillance of Drugs and Food Control Authority, Dr. Peter Aguek Kon Baar told journalists in Juba yesterday (Monday) that the drugs are dangerous to the infants’ lives.

Dr. Aguek said they are concerned about the drugs circulating in African regions, which were supplied to Gambia and the drugs have a case of substandard (contamination).

The four substandard products identified in Gambia that failed to meet either their quality standards or specifications and are therefore out of specification and products includes; Promethazine oral solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.

The toxic effects of the drugs include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.

He disclosed that the drugs used in the Gambia have led to death of sixty-six babies because of the substandard drugs. Adding that the suppliers are from India under the manufactured name of Maiden Pharmaceutical company limited (Haryana, India).

“We got a letter through our partners that any country within Africa will have to use Surveillance to make sure that those four mentioned drugs are not found in the countries or if they are there, should be collected from the market because they are having high risk to the infants,” said Dr. Aguek Kon Baak.

“If the above mentioned drugs are found in any of the facilities whether in the government, clinics, pharmacies should be collected to the Drugs and Food Control Authority office or call the inspector on +211-925-661-173,” he alerted.

FDCA director general further urged those operating their businesses in the states to contact the DFCA office nearby saying there are branches of FDCA, offices in Yei, Wau and other states.

“This is a serious case for our internal people especially the babies,” he stressed.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) is already online alerting all the countries worldwide to make sure that the drugs are not reaching other countries or collected from the markets if there are any related to the four mentioned.

Dr. Aguek emphasized that all the drugs from any country that enters South Sudan must be registered and the company have to notify its drugs manufacture details.

He underlined that the India’s Maiden pharmaceutical company is not registered and if there is a case of suspect related to the banned drugs in the country, they might have been smuggled.

“If these drugs are there in the country, they might have been smuggled because the company manufacturing is not registered in our records and we don’t know the numbers of the drugs smuggled if they are there,” said Dr. Aguek

Last Wednesday, the World Health Organiation (WHO) issued a global alert over the four cough syrups – warning they could be linked to acute kidney injuries and the children’s deaths in July, August and September.

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