MUMBAI: India is investigating the deaths of dozens of children in The Gambia that the World Health Organization (WHO) said may be linked to a cough syrup made in the south Asian nation, two people from India's health ministry told Reuters on Thursday.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday told reporters the U.N. agency was investigating the deaths from acute kidney injuries with India's drug regulator and New Delhi-based cough syrup manufacturer Maiden Pharmaceuticals.
The agency informed the Drugs Controller General of India of the deaths late last month after which the regulator launched an investigation with state authorities, in tandem with the WHO probe, the people said.
Maiden manufactured and exported the syrup only to the West African nation, the people said.
Reuters' calls to a listed telephone number for Maiden went unanswered as did an emailed request for comment. Calls to the Drugs Controller General of India outside of office hours also went unanswered.
India's government has asked the WHO to share its report linking the deaths with the cough syrup and will take "all required steps in the matter", the people said. (Reporting by Krishna Das in New Delhi; Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing)