The Gambian government offers a measly sum of money in place of an explanation for the death of 70 children

Earlier in October, reports that little children were dying from acute kidney failure made news rounds. Following an investigation, it was discovered by the World Health Organization that their deaths were linked to defective cough syrups from India, however, this report has been a subject of contention.

The country’s Medicines Control Agency has noted that the cause of death was not tied to the drugs, inadvertently absolving Maiden Pharma (the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drugs), of any blame.

Recently, the country’s ministry of gender offered $20,000 to the families of the victims, which was rejected.

The ministry intended that the $20,000 be shared amongst all 70 families of the victims, which roughly amounts to a little under $300 per family.

This compensation has been tagged as an insult to the victims and has been rejected outrightly.

Ebrima Sanyang, the chairperson of the grieving families, noted that accepting the money would compromise their position in seeking justice. He disclosed that the families were more concerned about getting some closure than a measly sum as compensation.

The Gambian Medicines Control Agency had declared that the kids died from flood waters as opposed to the World Health Organization’s reports that stated that the deaths were caused by defective drugs.

Ebrima Sanyang stated that the families of the victims want the Medicine control agency to withdraw their claim. They also want the agency to be barred from investigations.

In October the WHO issued an alert against the four products that are linked to the case, they include Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup, all made by Maiden Pharma, and all decidedly containing “unacceptable” amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic and lead to acute kidney injury.

Maiden Pharma has stated that they adhere to standard procedures, and the manufacture of their products follows regulations.