Measures have been put in place at various ports of entry into the nation, according to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to prevent contaminated cough syrups.
At a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, revealed this.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the agency on Sunday issued a warning with the number 040/2022 regarding some tainted cough syrups that were being sold in the Gambia.
NAN further states that the syrups were identified as Magrip N Cold Syrup, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Promethazine Oral Solution, and Kofexmalin Baby Cough 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.
Meanwhile, the NAFDAC boss 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.
Adeyeye 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 the Gambia,” she dressed
The NAFDAC director urged Nigerians to exercise caution, claiming that the four cough syrups in question had not been registered by the agency.
In order to prevent the importation, distribution, sales, and usage of subpar cough syrups, she also pleaded for importers, distributors, retailers, and consumers to exercise caution throughout the supply chain.
She asserts that all medical products must be purchased from authorized/licensed vendors and stresses the importance of thoroughly inspecting the product’s validity and physical state.