Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Nigeria buys baby poison antidote

Map of Nigeria

Nigerian medical authorities are flying in 100 doses of an antidote to try and stem the deaths of babies poisoned by a contaminated teething syrup.

The number of children who have died from kidney failure after being given the tainted paracetamol-based remedy called "My Pikin" has risen to 34.

Authorities say the number of sick children may rise, as not all parents have access to medical services.

So far 425 syrup bottles have been seized from shops since 21 November.

Nigeria's National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control said it had first received reports of possible contamination on 19 November and had begun to confiscate the syrup two days later.

All paracetamol-based drugs prescribed in Nigeria are being tested after the deaths, officials say.

The children died after drinking the baby-teething mixture contaminated with diethylene glycol, a toxic substance normally used in engine coolant.

The children died at three hospitals in Lagos, Ibadan and Zaria

About 40 other children were taken to hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting.

The authorities have closed down the manufacturer of the mixture along with one of its suppliers.

The antidote has been bought from a supplier in the UK and is expected to arrive by Thursday.

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