Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) has thus far failed to track down the source of contaminated cough syrups sold in at least seven low-income countries, a spokeswoman said in Geneva on Tuesday. It remained unclear whether counterfeit medications or contaminated juices used in the production were to blame, she said. Industrial solvents and anti-freeze agents have been found that could be fatal to infants and young children.
The spokeswoman said the organization was relying on governments to check how the contaminants had entered the supply chain and what needed to be done to prevent further occurrence.
“Accidents can happen. but it should not happen,” she said.
On Monday, the WHO issued a call to countries “to prevent, detect and respond to incidents of substandard and falsified medical products,” saying that over the past four months, there had been reports of contaminated over-the-counter cough syrups for children. The cases were from seven countries and more than 300 fatalities were associated with the reports, most of them children under the age of five. (dpa)