To increase vigilance and in the context of prevention, the Health Ministry has asked health workers at health service facilities to temporarily stop prescribing drugs in liquid/syrup dosage forms…
Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Health Ministry has detected traces of compounds in samples of drugs consumed by patients in Indonesia that have the potential to cause acute kidney failure.
“The findings come from an examination conducted in Indonesia, but we have not been able to conclude which compound. With this initial finding, the government is trying to take anticipatory steps,” head of the communication and public service bureau of the ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, informed in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s spokesperson, Mohammad Syahril, said that the government has temporarily stopped the sale of syrup drugs and issued guidelines for the management of patients at healthcare facilities as a part of its efforts to control cases of acute kidney failure.
“To increase vigilance and in the context of prevention, the Health Ministry has asked health workers at health service facilities to temporarily stop prescribing drugs in liquid/syrup dosage forms, until the results of the research are complete,” Syahril added.
He informed that the ministry has also asked all pharmacies to temporarily stop selling over-the-counter drugs in the form of syrups to the public until the results of the research and examination are completed.
“The Ministry of Health urges the public to treat sick children without medicine in the form of syrup without consulting health workers,” he stressed.
Instead, he advised people to use other medicines such as tablets, capsules, and suppositories (anal), among others.
According to him, parents need to be vigilant if children under the age of five show symptoms such as decreased urine volume since it is a specific symptom of acute kidney failure.
Other symptoms include fever, diarrhea, cough, runny nose, nausea, and vomiting.
“Please immediately go to the nearest health facility if those symptoms appear,” Syahril reiterated.
As an initial step to reduce mortality due to acute kidney failure, the Ministry of Health, through the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, has purchased antidotes from abroad as an alternative to syrups.
Since the end of August 2022, the Ministry of Health and the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) have received reports of an increase in cases of atypical progressive acute kidney injury (AKI), mainly experienced by children under the age of five.
“This increase in cases is different from the previous one, and currently, the cause is still under investigation and research,” Syahril informed.
As of October 18, 2022, 206 cases were reported from 20 provinces, with the death toll pegged at 99 and the mortality rate among patients treated at the RSCM recorded at 65 percent.
The Ministry of Health, together with the Indonesian Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), epidemiologists, IDAI, pharmacologists, and the National Police Laboratory has carried out examinations to determine the exact cause and risk factors for acute kidney failure.
“From the results of the examination, there is no correlation between the incidence of acute kidney failure with the COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection. The disease generally attacks children aged less than six years old, while the vaccination program has not targeted children aged one to five years old,” Syahril added.