By Zayamu Hassan
The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has warned importers and distributors of medicines to be on the alert and avoid importing the four killer baby products from the Gambia.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye who gave the warning, outlined four products; Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
At a media briefing in Abuja, Prof. Adeyeye explained that laboratory analysis of samples of the four products by the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.
“Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are restricted chemicals which are toxic to humans when consumed and can prove fatal. These chemicals are closely related in chemical structure to propylene glycol which is the right vehicle for use in the manufacture of paediatric syrups.
“Poor quality control might have led to non-detection of these dangerous by products and hence the fatality we have on our hands in the Gambia,” she said.
On what NAFDAC has done, she disclosed that “as part of our regulatory controls, NAFDAC have issued an alert to the public on the Public Alert No. 039/2022 – Alert on Substandard (contaminated) paediatric cough syrups circulating in Gambia.
“This alert has been widely circulated on our website and all social media handles and sent to all health care providers on our database as well as professional bodies and association in the medicine supply chain.
“In addition, we have put appropriate measures in place to prevent entry of these spurious products from the various ports of entry and have activated our internal surveillance mechanisms to mop up these products from the supply chain pipeline if they are ever found.”
She, however, disclosed that NAFDAC has heightened its monitoring and surveillance activities to ensure that the products do not find their way into Nigeria.