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Nigeria Denies Any Child Deaths Linked to Recalled J&J Cough Syrup, ET HealthWorld Reports



Nigeria says no record of child deaths from recalled J&J cough syrup, ET HealthWorld

In a recent development, Nigeria’s drug regulator has confirmed that there have been no reports of children falling ill or dying from exposure to a batch of cough syrup manufactured by Johnson & Johnson in South Africa. The recall of the cough syrup was initiated last week after tests revealed dangerously high levels of diethylene glycol, which is harmful to humans. Regulators in five other African countries also issued recalls in response to the findings.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria announced the recall following the discovery of the toxic substance in the cough syrup. Additionally, South Africa’s drug regulator stated that there have been no adverse reactions reported in South Africa or elsewhere in the world to the two batches of the recalled Benylin Paediatric Syrup.

Diethylene glycol, if consumed, can lead to acute kidney failure and has been linked to numerous child deaths in countries like Gambia, Uzbekistan, and Cameroon since 2022. Fraden Bitrus, NAFDAC’s director of pharmacovigilance, mentioned that the regulator had been conducting tests on cough syrups in response to these deaths, not in reaction to any specific incidents in Nigeria.

The recalled batches of the cough syrup were manufactured by Johnson & Johnson in South Africa in May 2021. While investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the high levels of diethylene glycol in the syrup, both J&J and Kenvue, the current owners of the brand, are working with health authorities to address the issue. Regulators in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe have also recalled the same batch of Benylin Paediatric Syrup in response to the findings.

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