More deaths amongst Nigerian babies have been recorded as a paracetamol based syrup found to contain engine coolant remains in circulation in pharmaceutical stores across the country. The dead children are aged between two and seven.
The killer-syrup known as ‘My Pikin’ translates into ‘my child’ in Nigerian pidgin English.
According to the Nigerian health ministry, the teething syrup has now claimed 84 lives, and metabolically broken down 112 children. The Health Minister, Babatunde Osotimehin was quoted as saying that: “Government will leave no stone unturned to find answers to the many questions being asked by Nigerians and also ensure that such unfortunate incidents do not occur again.”
Authorities have called on private pharmacies to turn over stocks of the paracetamol-based syrup to regulators. The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised parents to refrain from treating their children with any type of teething syrup until it can find all the remaining stocks.
The poisonous syrup was discovered last November when babies began dying of organ failure across the country. NAFDAC reacted by shutting down the Lagos-based manufacturer and the main supplier of the medicine.
NAFDAC said symptoms among the children who had taken the syrup included diarrhea, vomiting, fever and convulsions, and an inability to pass urine. Medical experts say that the kidney failure suffered by the children is triggered by the engine coolant and anti-freeze that is constituent in the syrup.