Nigeria - Teething Pain Medicine Kills 84 Kids
NIGERIA - The number of children who have died from a contaminated baby medicine has now risen to 84, from 34 in December. The poison has caused the death of 75% of the 111 children who have been sickened after taking it.
The poisonous batch of My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture which hit the shelves in the first week of November of last year contained a thickening agent normally used in brake fluid and anti-freeze. It was used as a cheaper alternative to glycerin. Although the killer syrup was immediately discovered and banned, the death toll seems to be on a steady rise.
"The death of any Nigeria child is a great loss to the nation," Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Nigeria's Minister of Health said in a condolence message yesterday. "The Federal Ministry of health sincerely regrets this painful incidence and sympathises with the nation and the families directly affected."
The chemical causes kidney and liver damage. It also attacks the central nervous system, causing paralysis that hampers breathing. Symptoms of diethylene glycol exposure include abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting; dizziness, drowsiness, confusion and decreased or lack of production of urine. Nigeria’s National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control has traced the diethylene glycol to an unlicensed chemical dealer in Lagos that sold the syrup to Barewa Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the teething medicine. Parents have already been advised to not treat their children with any type of teething syrup until the authorities find all the remaining stocks.