A local drugmaker based in Lagos was shuttered after contaminated teething syrup killed 25 infants and hospitalized at least 10 more,Reuters reports. The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says tests show the chemical diethylene glycol, a poisonous substance normally used in engine coolant, had triggered kidney failure in the infants.
The children died at three hospitals across Africa's most populous nation - the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), the UCH hospital in the southwestern town of Ibadan and the ABUTH hospital in the northern town of Zaria. "In all the recorded cases at ABUTH, UCH and LUTH the drug common to all the patients was My Pikin baby teething mixture," NAFDAC said in a statement. Symptoms included diarrhea, vomiting, fever, convulsions and an inability to pass urine for days.
The agency first received reports of a case of possible contamination from the Zaria hospital on November 19 and that it had started confiscating batches of the syrup two days later after carrying out tests. The manufacturer, Barewa Pharmaceuticals, was subsequently shut down, but could not immediately be reached for comment, Reuters writes.