Gambia families reject $20,000 for cough syrup deaths

Families of the 70 Gambian children who died of acutre kidney injury (AKI), allegedly linked to consuming Indian made cough syrups, have rejected a compensation offer from the government.

The ministry of gender had offered $20,000 (£17,000) to be shared among the families.

Ebrima Sanyang, the chairperson of the grieving families, said the money was “an insult to the victims”.

He said that accepting the money would mean that they were not fighting for justice.

The families want the state’s Medicine Control Agency to withdraw its initial claim that the children had died in flood waters and not from faulty medicine.

They also want the agency to be barred from investigations called for by the president.

In October, the World Heath Organization (WHO) issued a global alert over four brands of cough syrups, saying they could be linked to acute kidney damage, following reports from The Gambia of children diagnosed with serious kidney problems.

The Indian company – Maiden Pharmaceuticals – has said it adheres to internationally recognised quality-control standards.

But some of its products have failed to meet national or state-level quality-control standards in India.


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