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Health commissioners warns over deadly cough syrups

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The Chairman, Nigerian Health Commissioners’ Forum, Dr Oyebanji Filani, on Tuesday, advised Nigerians against the use of some cough syrups which have led to the death of over 66 children in Gambia, West Africa.

Oyebanji, the Ekiti State Health Commissioner, who listed the syrups as “Promethazine Oral Solution BP, Kofexmalin- Baby Cough syrup, MaKOFF Baby and MaGrip n Cold Syrup,” urged Nigerians to begin the lookout for the drugs.

The NHCF, in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday titled, ‘Health commissioners’ forum warns against use of four contaminated cough syrups’, charged parents whose children had symptoms such as diarrhoea and headache to seek the advice of health professionals.

Oyebanji said that the World Health Organisation had directed the removal of the drugs from circulation to prevent further harm.

He stated, “The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedross Ghebreyasus, noted that these syrups contain two toxic products usually used as a solvent and an anti-freeze agent which have been confirmed to cause acute kidney injuries among children.

“The WHO added that the toxic products are colourless and almost odourless, which makes it difficult to detect.”

The NHCF chairman added that the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, had confirmed that the said drugs were not registered in Nigeria.

Oyebanji said, “The Forum will continue to work with NAFDAC and other relevant authorities to ensure that such products, if found in country, are taken off the shelf to ensure safety of all Nigerians.”

Oyebanji, who assured of the Forum’s commitment to promoting Nigerians’ health and wellbeing, urged everyone to take personal responsibility of completely removing such injurious products out of circulation if found either from their pharmaceutical and patent medicine stores or their various homes in Nigeria.

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