A Gambian parliamentary committee recommended on Tuesday that an Indian pharmaceutical company be banned and prosecuted over the deaths of at least 70 children.
The committee accuses Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited of exporting contaminated products to the country.
"I have received several evidence from several stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors, including the parents of the victims of AKI (Acute Kidney Injury, Ed.). The select committee concludes that all the cases of the AKI are linked to the consumption of contaminated medical products imported by Atlantic Pharmaceutical, and manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, India. The actual cause of the deaths of these children is still under scientific investigations as causal tests are currently being undertaken by the Minister of Health and partners", said Amadou Camara, Chairperson of the select committee on health.
In October, the World Health Organization, WHO, issued an alert over four syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals, based in northern India.
According to the UN, lab testing revealed unacceptable levels of potentially life-threatening contaminants.
"The select committee is convinced that Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited is culpable and should be held accountable for exporting the contaminated medicine that was linked to the deaths of at least 70 killed in Gambia in 2022". (...) All products should be subjected to screening before release in the market for distribution and use.
This will ensure that what is ordered is what is delivered to avoid what happened in the case of Atlantic Pharmacy", concluded the Chairperson of the committee.
Gambia has already recalled all cough and cold syrups in circulation in the country as well as all pharmaceutical products manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals, whose production plant in India has been shut down.
The company reportedly denies any wrongdoing.