Long wait for justice after India cough syrup deaths
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As his mother desperately tries to feed him, she talks about the games he will be able to play once he is well again.

The child died in the hospital three days later, on 10 January 2020.

Before his death, he had suffered from diarrhoea, vomiting, and was unable to urinate. His parents say these symptoms began after they gave him a cough syrup – bought from a chemist in Ramnagar, a small town in the northern Indian region of Jammu, where they live – to treat a fever and chest infection.

Anirudh’s kidneys were damaged, and his creatinine levels – a waste product normally eliminated by the kidneys – were high when he visited the hospital.

Local drug control officials say tests revealed the cough syrup contained high amounts of diethylene glycol, a toxic compound that could cause kidney failure and death if ingested.

According to Veena Kumari, the child suffered a lot. His face and body were swollen, he had difficulty eating, and he couldn’t open his eyes.”

At least 12 children under the age of five died in Ramnagar between December 2019 and January 2020, allegedly after drinking cough syrup. The number of deaths could be higher, according to activists.

The owner of Digital Vision, which made the cough syrup, denies that his medication contributed to the deaths.

“Why would we kill someone’s children? We have children too. We manufacture medicines, not poisons.”