Fake antibiotics kills several children in Egypt as authorities seize illegal drugs worth $160 million

Patient child laying on hospital bed with blurred saline solution drip and infusion pump equipment

Several children have died in Egypt as a result of the use of fake antibiotics, reports Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Pharmacists are warning against the use of ceftriaxone, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.

According to the report, authorities in the city of Kafr Ziyat have raided an unlicenced factory which was producing antibiotics and adding brand names to the packaging.

Around $160 million worth of illegal drugs have been seized in pharmacies, warehouses and factories in the past month alone.

One of the children who has died is a two-year-old boy who was given an injection with antibiotics to bring his temperature down after he was taken to A&E.

Antibiotics are one of the most counterfeited medicines. In July, counterfeit batches of Unictam were found in several provinces in Egypt with one patient suffering a miscarriage after taking the counterfeit drug.

In 2015 it was reported that of the total number of drugs on the market in Egypt, 30 per cent were counterfeit, with critics pointing to a lack of laws to deter the practice.

In 2017, Egypt authorities announced that they had discovered thousands of packages of counterfeit hepatitis C medicine.

Egypt’s healthcare service has been plagued with controversy in recent weeks after earlier this month a nurse inserted a needle into a newborn baby blindfolded. According to social media posts the nurse and his friend bet each other breakfast over whether he could inject the baby without looking.

That same week an air force officer was accused of violently attacking nurses at a government hospital in Menufia Governorate with one reportedly suffering a miscarriage after she was beaten with a rope.


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