Zimbabwe Recalls Benylin Children’s Cough Syrup

April 16, 2024
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Zimbabwe’s health authorities have taken swift action following concerns over tainted children’s cough syrup manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) issued a recall of the product, known as Benylin Paediatric Syrup, after reports emerged of unsafe levels of a toxic industrial solvent. This move comes after similar recalls in several African nations, including South Africa, Eswatini, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

The decision to recall the cough syrup was prompted by critical communication received from Nigeria regarding the detection of toxins in two batches of the product. Richard Rukwata, the director-general of MCAZ, emphasized the importance of this precautionary measure, expressing concerns that the contaminated batches could potentially enter the local market through illegal channels.

While there are no records of the importation of the tainted¬† cough syrup into Zimbabwe, MCAZ remains vigilant, urging the public to refrain from using the product if encountered. The authority emphasizes the importance of cooperation from all stakeholders to ensure the safety of citizens’ access to medicines.

In response to the recall, MCAZ is intensifying market surveillance efforts through strict inspections and public awareness campaigns. The authority reaffirms its commitment to protecting public health by ensuring that all medicines and medical devices meet stringent safety standards.

As the investigation continues, MCAZ urges the public to obtain medicines only from licensed sources to facilitate easier monitoring. Collaboration between the authority and law enforcement agencies remains crucial in combating the circulation of substandard and falsified health products, in line with WHO guidelines.