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Indonesia to investigate cases of fatal kidney injury among children

Indonesia to investigate cases of fatal kidney injury among children

Thursday, October 13, 2022, 09:25 GMT+7
Indonesia to investigate cases of fatal kidney injury among children
Indonesian children wait to take swab samples to test for the COVID-19 during mass testing at a school in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

JAKARTA -- Indonesia will investigate cases of acute kidney injury which has caused the deaths of more than 20 children in its capital Jakarta this year, health authorities said on Wednesday.

The probe comes as authorities in Gambia said nearly 70 children died from acute kidney injury after taking a locally-sold paracetamol syrup used to treat fever. 

Indonesia will coordinate with investigators from the World Health Organization (WHO) that have found "unacceptable" levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic, in four products made by New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Indonesia's drug regulator (BPOM) said in a statement the syrups were not registered in the country.

Mohammad Syahril, a health ministry spokesperson, told Reuters 131 cases of acute kidney injury have been found nationwide since January, citing the country's paediatric association (IDAI) data. The total number of deaths nationwide is still being determined, he said.

Syahril added the cases in Gambia are not related to those inIndonesia.

Separately, the Jakarta health agency said there have been a total of 31 cases reported in the city since January, of which 68% have been fatal.

The health ministry said it is talking to experts from the WHO that are investigating the case in Gambia and it has formed a team with IDAI and a Jakarta-based hospital to look into the matter.

The health ministry said early findings point to potential intoxication as a cause of the illness, but no definitive cause has been found yet. The ministry said further research was needed.

Indian authorities said on Wednesday they found 12 violations of good practices at a factory of Maiden and halted production of cough syrups at the plant.



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