Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

MCA Insists Its Assessment Shows Majority Of AKI Victims Took “Good Medicines”

0 595
Mr. Tijan Jallow
Regulatory Officer of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA)

By Landing Ceesay

The Regulatory Officer of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), Mr Tijan Jallow, said the majority of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) linked victims died after taking “good medicines”, according to their assessment.

“We are working on casualty assessment, as we speak now. For the kids that were subjected to medications, we are trying to establish which medication they took. A good number of kids died without taking any medication. Other kids died, and we the Medicines Control Agency took the medicines that they took, tested them and they are good,” he said.

The agency staff went on to say that some of the children whose deaths are linked to the imported Indian medicines actually died without taking any medication.

“Out of the 70 kids that died, some of them died without taking any medication. Out of that 70 kids, a good number of them took medication that we have tested and the medications are not affected. They are safe to be used but the kids only took those medications and died. No one will take a kid, and subject them to medication if they are not having any underlying conditions,” Mr Jallow told the Journalists at a Press Conference,” he added.

Mr Jallow said Science is evidence-based and that they cannot just narrow down their angle only on medication.

He said: “We were in the rainy season and for the past 15 to 20 years, The Gambia experienced the highest rainfall in this season and we realized 95% of the kids that died are from flooded areas.”

Mr. Jallow told the media that some urine and blood samples were collected from kids that were showing the same signs and symptoms and that after analyzing those samples, 90 to 95% shows the presence of 6 different bacteria faeces and 3 different virus species.

Regulatory Officer of the Medicines Control Agency informed the media that they also collected 3 samples from kids having AKI and that all of them have the presence of bacteria in their stools after an analysis of their stool samples.

However, he said that they are yet to conclude whether or not; it is the medicines, the deaths, or a microorganism that caused the deaths of the 70 children.

“So, now how we came up with these four medications, a paediatrician from RVTH (now EFSTH) blew a whistle to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Unit (EDC) under the Ministry of Health and they acted rapidly by engaging different stakeholders to come on board because people specialized in different areas. But as a team, we are all working to achieve a common goal just to safeguard the general public. So, when they engaged the Medicine Control Agency (MCA), our contribution was to talk more about the medications, as the main mandate of MCA is about the quality safety and efficacious of medications,” Mr. Jallow said.

The MCA official further told the media that one of the main issues the paediatrician was talking about day in and day out was that any kid that takes the Paracetamol syrup dies.

Jallow said as experts on medication, the MCA told the paediatrician that 99% of Paracetamol toxicity affects the liver and the other remaining per cent goes to different parts; and that this Paracetamol toxicity is caused by either oxidation or hydrolysis probably catalysed by environmental factors.

“Some of these environmental factors are oxygen, light, humidity, and temperature. These environmental factors when paracetamol is exposed to, then it will hydrolase. That’s what causes paracetamol toxicity,” he said.

Mr. Jallow said the World Bank has pledged to establish food and medicine control laboratories for the country, as the main challenge that the country is facing is the lack of a lab to ascertain imported medicines.

He expressed hope that the AKI issue will never repeat itself in the country, when food and medicine control laboratories are available, and acknowledging his agency lacks a lab to subject the imported medical product to analysis to detect the presence of this residual solvent.

Between July to date, 70 Gambia children have died of the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) linked to 4 brands of imported syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited in India.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the products contain substances dangerous to health and the Gambian authorities have since recalled from the market a good quantity of the products imported into the country.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.