A red toy motorcycle collects dust in a corner of Mariam Kuyateh’s house.
It was intended for Musa, her 20-month-old son, who went tragically in September.
He is one of the 66 kids in The Gambia who are believed to have perished as a result of taking a cough medicine that was “possibly related to severe renal damage.”
The family avoids touching Musa’s toy because it serves as a reminder of what has been lost.
His mother, a 30-year-old woman with four other children, broke down in tears as she recalled what had happened to her kid.
She described how his illness began as the flu while she sat in her house in Serrekunda, The Gambia’s central city. Her spouse purchased syrup to address the issue following his visit to the doctor.
The syrup helped to halt the virus, but it also caused another issue, according to Ms. Kuyateh.
“My youngster wasn’t peeing at all.”
Musa had a blood test to rule out malaria when she returned to the hospital. After receiving a different therapy that did not work, a catheter was placed in his bladder, but he was unable to pass pee.
The little one was finally operated on. No progress was made.
He was unable to survive and passed away. In relation to the deaths in The Gambia, the WHO released a global notice on four cough syrups.
These medications—Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup—were created by an Indian business called Maiden Pharmaceuticals, which had failed to make assurances regarding their safety.
The Indian government is looking at the issue.
The Gambia is really angry about what transpired.
There are mounting demands for the resignation of Health Minister Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh and the prosecution of drug traffickers.
“Sixty-six is a large number. Justice is necessary since the victims were innocent youngsters “said Ms. Kuyateh. Another victim was 5-month-old Aisha.
Mariam Sisawo, her mother, noticed that her child wasn’t peeing after taking the cough medicine one morning.
She was informed that her daughter’s bladder was OK on her first visit to the hospital. Before Aisha was sent to a hospital in the nation’s capital, Banjul, it required two further journeys there on back-to-back days.
But she passed away there after receiving care for five days.
“My daughter died in agony. When the physicians attempted to install a drip for her at one point, they were unable to see her veins. I lost my kid, along with two other ladies in the same ward.” Aisha was the lone female among my two sons. My husband was overjoyed to get Aisha, and he’s still struggling to accept her passing.
Because The Gambia currently lacks a laboratory capable of determining whether or not a drug is safe, it must be sent elsewhere for testing.
The nation intended to open such a lab, according to President Adama Barrow. He also instructed the health ministry to evaluate pertinent rules and regulations regarding imported pharmaceuticals in a televised address to the country.
According to Ms. Sisawo, the administration ought to have exercised greater caution.
“This is a lesson for parents, but the government has a bigger duty. Before any pharmaceuticals enter the nation, they should be thoroughly examined to see if they are safe for human consumption or not, she added.