Mr. President, we commend your government for taking two good moves to deal with the 69 children’s deaths.
First, the government urged the Control Agency through the Ministry of Health to suspend the licence of the suspected importer and pharmacy.
We also applaud your government for instructing the Gambia Police Force to launch an investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of 69 children. Set up an investigation panel to immediately probe into the matter to identify those responsible for such irreparable loss and hold them adequately accountable. Any institutions or individuals found wanting should face full force of the law.
Mr. President, the Indian authorities have also ordered an investigation after four cough syrups believed to be contaminated were manufactured by one of their local pharmacies – Maiden Pharmacy Limited of India.
Maiden Pharmacy, which was pointed out by the media for allegedly being involved in this case, issued a press release during the weekend stating that “since the matter is already pending investigation and sub judice, we cannot comment on the issues.”
The Gambia government and the Indian government should work together for the investigation to identify what went wrong and take strict measures to avoid such scenario in future.
Mr. President, the Ministry of Health should be equipped with laboratories for medicines and food to avoid fake drugs and expired food entering the Gambian market.
In a related development Kenya Revenue Authority has discovered 1365 bags of sugar and several 20 litres of cooking oil which are not fit for human consumption coming from China.
Gambian Health authorities and GRA officials should be equipped to detect commodities and cooking oil not good for public consumption. The public should cooperate with the police to give any vital information on drugs and expired food to enable them to take action.
This should be a joint venture and everyone’s business to report a fault suspected in our communities.
Finally, Mr. President, we sympathise with all the parents of the victims and pray that God will grant them eternal peace.