WHO Urges Action To Protect Children From Contaminated Medicines

WHO is releasing an urgent call to action to countries to prevent, detect and respond to incidents of substandard and falsified medical products.

Over the past four months, countries have reported on several incidents of over-the-counter cough syrups for children with confirmed or suspected contamination with high levels of diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG).

The cases are from at least seven countries, associated with more than 300 fatalities in three of these countries. Most are young children under the age of five.

These contaminants are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even taken in small amounts, and should never be found in medicines.

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