By Asmau Ahmad
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), said that measures have been put at various ports of entry into the country to prevent contaminated cough syrups.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference.
It would be recall that the agency had earlier issued an alert with No. 040/2022 about some contaminated cough syrups circulating in the Gambia.
The syrups were identified as; Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
The syrups were said to have been manufactured by an Indian company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, and had failed to provide guarantees about the safety of the cough syrups.
Prof. Adeyeye Meanwhile said that the agency had put appropriate measures at the various ports of entry to curtail the entry of these syrups into Nigeria.
She said that NAFDAC had activated its internal surveillance mechanisms to mop up these products from the supply chain pipeline if they were ever found.
The NAFDAC boss said that as a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) programme on international drug monitoring, NAFDAC would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that these products did not cause harm to Nigerians.
She said that the cough syrups had killed 66 children in Gambia, and that interviews conducted on the bereaved parents in the Gambia by health authorities and law enforcement agencies revealed how their children were not able to pass urine after taking the syrups.
“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 products and hence the fatality we have on our hands in Gambia,” she dressed
The NAFDAC boss however said that the four cough syrups in questions were not registered by the agency and called on Nigerians to be cautious.
She also implored importers, distributors, retailers and consumers to exercise vigilance within the supply chain to avoid importation, distribution, sales and use of the substandard cough syrups. According to her, all medical products must be obtained from authorised/licensed suppliers, adding that the product authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.