Gambia’s cough syrup investigation ‘delayed’ by families

An ongoing investigation into the deaths of more than 70 children in The Gambia linked to cough syrups made in India, has been delayed by parents of the victims not cooperating with investigators, a senior medical officer has said.

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.

Investigators in The Gambia now say some parents could not recall the quantity of doses they gave to their children, and places they purchased the drugs.

Others have allegedly “faked” the duration of the sickness of children when interrogated by the investigators.

Last week, the families of the children who died 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”.