JAKARTA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) — Indonesia is expected to receive drugs for acute kidney injury from Singapore and Australia amid increasing children’s deaths from the disease, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said Sunday.
As of Saturday, the number of children in Indonesia who died from atypical progressive acute kidney injury has risen to 133, forcing the authorities to temporarily ban all sales and prescription of syrup-based medications nationwide.
The needed rare drugs, expected to land in Indonesia on Sunday, are Fomepizole drug vials, with 10 from Singapore and 16 from Australia, said the minister.
The health ministry had ordered less than 200 vials previously. Each patient is expected to receive one vial with 1.5 gram or 1.5 ml injection dose.
“We hope the drugs can be distributed immediately to hospitals soon after they arrive here,” Sadikin told a press conference.
The minister also expressed appreciation for the assistance from both Singapore and Australia.
The Indonesian government has been working to identify possible causes of the acute kidney injury in the children, who are mostly less than six years old, and preliminary investigation has linked it with pathogens contaminating the syrup medicines taken by them, such as ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, and ethylene glycol butyl ether.
The health ministry earlier assured that the acute kidney injury cases were not related to COVID-19 vaccines as the COVID-19 jabs are only for people aged six and above in the Southeast Asian country. ■