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‘Killer Syrup To Claim More Lives’—Akunyili

Posted by By Yisa Jamiu & Adetutu Audu on 2008/12/01 | Views: 1457 |

‘Killer Syrup To Claim More Lives’—Akunyili


Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili, this morning, said the 29 deaths already recorded from the poisonous My Pikin teething mixture is just a tip of the iceberg.

Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili, this morning, said the 29 deaths already recorded from the poisonous My Pikin teething mixture is just a tip of the iceberg.

Speaking on a TV programme, Akunyili said some deaths may have been recorded in cases where parents of affected children could not get to the hospital on time, as well as those in villages who are unaware of the incident.

Akunyili said My Pikin is registered by NAFDAC and widely used by nursing mothers. The NAFDAC boss said when Barewa Pharmaceuticals Limited, manufacturers of My Pikin, reported that the drug had been detected to be harmful for consumption, the company claimed only one batch, containing 3,000 packs, was contaminated and they were investigating.

She said the contaminated drug contains diethylene glycol, a substance which she said claimed the lives of 200 children in 1990, in Ibadan, Oyo state. She described the substance as a solvent that can be wrongly used in dissolving paracetamol, and can also be used by a drug producer out to cut costs.

In the case of Barewa Pharmaceuticals, she said the company did not only use the substance to dissolve, it was used with propylene glycol, which, though is a good solvent, but contaminated the former.

”The result of the contamination is what caused the instant kidney failures, resulting in the death of 29 toddlers”, Akunyili disclosed. She added that the same diethylene glycol is contained in imported toothpastes. “This is why NAFDAC warned that Nigerians should stop using imported toothpastes, “she said.

She said NAFDAC was trying its best to curb the menace of fake and unwholesome drugs by checking what goes into the drugs, and what is listed on the pack; but added it’s not possible for the agency to be monitoring manufacturers on a daily or weekly basis. Akunyili said the agency has informed all drug suppliers and retailers to stop selling My Pikin or any form of paracetamol meant for kids.

Meanwhile, mothers have decried the death of innocent children as a result of the contaminated drug, and urged the agency to permanently shut the company. Speaking with P.M.News, a housewife, Mrs. Olopade Adeyemi, said it is really sad that some unscrupulous Nigerian businessmen will want to make profit at the detriment of the health of innocent kids. She added that the pharmaceutical company should be shut permanently to serve as a deterrent to others.

Also commenting on the issue, a 65-year-old grandmother, Madam Safurat Adenoyin, said: “it is sad several lives had been lost before the agency discovered the killer mixture.” She commended NAFDAC and urged it not to relent in bursting other syndicates who may be involved in such act.

Dr. Biodun Dairo, Medical Director, Dairo Clinic and Maternity Home, Shasa, said he has never recommended the mixture to any parent before and advises parents to always keep to doctors’ prescriptions rather than resort to self-medication.

Anthony Okigwe, father of one, who also spoke, said the mixture became popular last year, and many who may have fallen victim were uneducated parents who will not go to hospitals for proper medication but prefer to visit local chemists.

Mrs. Tina Efefia, another housewife, stressed that stiffer measures should be put in place to forstall such occurrences in the country. My Pikin teething mixture was said to contain a killer element, diethylene glycol, which is used, instead of ethylene glycol, by unscrupulous companies in order to maximise profit. NAFDAC has shut the company and advises all medicine outlets, stores, clinics and hospitals to withdraw the drug from circulation.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown