The WHO has urged 'immediate & concerted action' against contaminated medicines. The development comes after several child deaths linked to cough syrups were reported in 2022. WHO has issued three global medical alerts addressing these incidents.

WHO on Monday said more than 300 children - mainly aged under 5 - in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan died of acute kidney injury, in deaths that were associated with contaminated medicines.

   

WHO urges 'immediate action' after cough syrup deaths, 3 global medical alerts issued

WHAT?

The WHO has urged 'immediate & concerted action' against contaminated medicines. The development comes after several child deaths linked to cough syrups were reported in 2022.

WHERE?

In a statement, the WHO on Monday said more than 300 children - mainly aged under 5 - in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan died of acute kidney injury, in deaths that were associated with contaminated medicines.

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Over the past four months, countries have reported several incidents of over-the-counter cough syrups for children with confirmed or suspected contamination with high levels of diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG).

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.