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Health commissioners warn Nigerians to avoid killer cough syrups

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

Oyebanji, who is the Ekiti State health commissioner, listed the syrups as “Promethazine Oral Solution BP, Kofexmalin- Baby Cough syrup, MAKOFF Baby and MaGrip n Cold Syrup;” and urged Nigerians to be on the lookout for the drugs.

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

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

He stated, “WHO Director General, Dr Tedross Ghebreyasus, noted that these syrups contain two toxic products usually used as a solvent and 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 Director General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, had confirmed that the said drugs were not registered in Nigeria.

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

Oyebanji, however, assured of the forum’s commitment to promoting Nigerians’ health and well-being, urging everyone to take personal responsibility for completely removing such injurious products from circulation if found either from their pharmaceutical and patent medicine stores or their various homes in Nigeria.

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