Indonesia reports 99 infant deaths this year from acute kidney injury

Nearly 100 children in Indonesia have died so far this year from acute kidney injury (AKI), a health ministry official said Wednesday, as a team of experts examine the spike in cases.

The rise in fatalities comes as the government of The Gambia investigates the deaths of 70 children of AKI linked to paracetamol syrups used to treat fever, which contain excessive levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.

Indonesian Food and Drug Administration officials said those products were not available locally and the ingredients that made them up had now been banned in all pediatric medicinal syrups sold in the country.

Since October 18, Indonesian authorities have identified 206 cases of AKI among children, with 99 fatalities, Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Syahril said on Wednesday.

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“As a preventive measure, the ministry has asked all health professionals in all health facilities to temporarily stop prescribing or dispensing liquid or syrup medications until our investigation and investigation is complete,” he told a news conference, adding that 65% of cases in Jakarta treated.

The ministry has purchased specialized drugs for AKI to deal with the spike, he said, as the investigation into the cause continues.

Indonesia has formed an expert team to investigate the peak AKI in children, composed of local health and pediatricians and representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO experts investigating cases in The Gambia were consulted.

A letter from the Department of Health, dated Oct. 18 and seen by Reuters, requested hospitals to collect all medications that families had given to those children admitted with AKI so that toxicology tests could be performed.

In the same letter, chemists said they would stop selling syrup-based drugs until further notice.

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