Tuesday, 28 May, 2024
HomeNews UpdateChildren's deaths in The Gambia linked to either paracetamol or E.coli

Children's deaths in The Gambia linked to either paracetamol or E.coli

The Government of The Gambia is investigating the recent deaths of dozens of children from kidney failure – 28 deaths by early August but the figures are expected to have risen since then – with possible links to a paracetamol syrup, but also possibly associated with E.coli bacteria, the country’s health director has said.

“A number of children (under five) have died in the past three months,” The Gambia’s director of health services, Mustapha Bittaye, told Reuters last week. “Autopsies suggest the possibility of paracetamol.”

It is not yet clear if a particular brand were being investigated, reports Al Jazeera.

Health authorities said this kind of illness often has more than one cause. Bittaye said E. coli bacteria was also a possibility as heavy rains have caused flooding in The Gambia, and across much of West Africa, in recent weeks.

The unpaved streets of the capital Banjul and surrounding towns have been overwhelmed. Open pit latrines and open drinking wells in urban centres can lead to the contamination of drinking water and contribute to a spread in waterborne illnesses like E. coli, health workers said.

Al Jazeera article – The Gambia probes child deaths linked to paracetamol syrup (Open access)

Reuters article – Gambia probes link between dozens of child deaths and paracetamol (Open access)

 

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