Toxic syrups are banned in Senegal due to cascade of deaths that could be linked to cough medicines manufactured in India as the authorities are reassuring, but call for vigilance.
“There is no reason to panic. Because the incriminated products are not authorized in Senegal”. This is the clarification provided by Dr. Oumy Kalsoum Ndao, Director General of the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (ARP).
According to French media RFI, the production plant was shut down on Wednesday and the WHO issued a global alert.
No box of suspect syrup has been identified for now.
“These four products found in a country very close to Senegal should not be in our supply chain. We asked all the service providers that, if they saw these boxes somewhere, that they report it”, he explains.
“If they have patients who show effects, they alert. We also asked health security, governors, regional chief medical officers, the trade system, at customs, if someone finds these boxes somewhere, that they alert the ARP,” he added.
The risk is in the informal drug markets. For this, the authorities have launched an appeal to the citizens.
“We call for serenity, but we also call for responsibility. We know full well that the products are transferred from one country to another in a fraudulent way, but if the populations help us to take the drugs where they have to take them, in the official circuit, we will be able to say that we are secure.”
The agency points out that the inscriptions on the boxes of contaminated products are in English. She relayed photos to raise awareness.