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 (Oct 12).
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.
Indonesia's drug regulator (BPOM) said in a statement the syrups were not registered in the country.
Its 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 the country's paediatric association (IDAI) and a Jakarta-based hospital to look into the cases.
It said the illness had infected 40 children across the country so far but didn't say when the cases were first reported.
IDAI was quoted by Indonesian newspaper Kompas as saying 131 cases have been reported between January and September, adding the cases in Gambia are unrelated to those in Indonesia.
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.