The WHO has linked a 'made in India' cough syrup to the deaths of 66 children in the Gambia, and an investigation is underway.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday (October 5) that it is investigating "contaminated" medicines, primarily for paediatric use, 

The World Health Organization has issued a warning that they may be linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia, a west African country.

"The four medicines are cough and cold syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited in India," it continued.

Tedros added that WHO was "conducting additional investigations with the company and regulatory authorities in India."

The four products are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup, according to the WHO alert.

"To date, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products," according to WHO.

"Laboratory analysis of product samples confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants," it added.

The toxic effect can cause "abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, and other symptoms."

WHO said that information received from India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation indicated that the manufacturer had only supplied the contaminated medications to The Gambia