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Hon. Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay, General Secretary (APRC)

The National Executive Committee (NEC), militants and Sympathizers of the Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) Party, under the dynamic leadership of Hon. Speaker Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Chairman and Party Leader, we wish to convey our sincere condolences to the families of the 69 infants who as a result of taking certain Indian-manufactured-paediatric-cold syrups prematurely lost their lives from Acute Kidney Injuries (AKI). We as a party are deeply sorry and saddened and as
a nation genuinely traumatized by this tragedy like every Gambian but are indeed ‘consoled to a great extent by the ongoing efforts of the government to effectively
remedy the circumstances. The APRC Party remains firm and in solidarity with the whole country for standing. together in support of the victims and their families who deserve every conceivable solace, prayers and reparation for their distress. And to sincerely pray for the victims’ souls to eternally rest in peace at the final destination of all souls created by the
Almighty Allah. The APRC Party however recognized with utmost admiration and gratitude the timely intervention of the government, the Ministry of Health together with all the supporting medical experts who in one way or the other contributed remarkably in identifying and stopping the consumption of the deadly paediatric cough syrups responsible for the misfortune. Considering the tempo and professionalism in which the government investigated and rapidly identified the cause of the 69 infant deaths within two months, the APRC believe the right measures of monitoring such eventualities were already in existence and handy to our medical experts well before the incident. Otherwise, the consequence would have been more calamitous in The Gambia and abroad where the WHO is diligently taking appropriate measures of warning all importers of the syrups to immediately get rid of the medicine from their inventories. That said, nevertheless the APRC Party suggests the need for the establishment of a special branch at the MCA exclusively responsible for monitoring and verifying the authenticity and performance record of all foreign pharmaceutical companies
exporting their products to The Gambia. The realization that Maiden Pharmaceutical Ltd, an Indian based company for thirty years, responsible for manufacturing and distributing the deadly syrups to The Gambia, doesn’t market its products in India
caused a lot of concern over the dependability of their supplies. The APRC Party therefore deemed it imperative to impose an embargo on the importation of any kind of drug from countries where the suppliers for unknown
reasons do not sell their products there. Due to the related concern of the clandestine manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit drugs from every part of the world, we again recommend the creation of a verification centre where buyers in doubt of the purity of suspicious drugs could call or. send a text message of the unique serial numbers of the medicine for approval or disapproval. It is a perfect system being currently applied in Ghana where a lot has
been achieved in dealing with suspicious medications imported from other countries. Since the Indian government and Maiden Pharmaceutical Ltd have openly admitted sending the contaminated syrups only to The Gambia and merely demanded for the proven evidence to settle with the victims, we further urge the government to immediately explore the possibility for a satisfactory reparation in monetary value paid to the affected families by the company. There is no doubt in our minds that when engaged with the proven contaminated samples from the WHO and from The Gambia,
the company will duly cooperate to safeguard their reputation and markets. In conclusion, we wish to thank the President for coming out in time to address the nation over the matter and to console the bereaved families who have throughout remained patient in their state of mourning. We are certainly very thankful of his
special leadership qualities in these sorrowful times.
May the Almighty Allah continue to bless and protect The Gambia and its People


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