Indonesia finds some medicines with ingredients linked to fatal child kidney injury

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Some medicinal syrups available in Indonesia contained ingredients linked to fatal acute kidney injury (AKI) in children, its health minister said on Thursday, as it investigates a spike in cases and 99 child deaths this year.

Indonesia has temporarily banned sales of all syrup-based medications and has been looking closely at paracetamol syrups used locally to treat fever in children that contain diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.

Gambia’s government is also investigating child AKI deaths linked to paracetamol syrups after 70 fatalities there. The syrups were made by New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which India said it is investigating.

Indonesia’s food and drug agency has said those particular products were not available locally.

Ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol were detected in products found at the homes of some of the patients, health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Thursday, without specifying how many.

“Some syrups that were used by AKI child patients under five were proven to contain ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol that were not supposed to be there, or of very little amount,” he said.

As of Thursday, Indonesia has identified 206 AKI child cases of which 99 were fatalities this year. Budi said the real number of cases could be higher than reported.

A health ministry spokesperson declined to say in how many child AKI patients the ingredients were detected, citing the ongoing investigation.

WHO’s Tedros says narrow window to ‘prevent genocide’ in Ethiopia

NAIROBI (Reuters) – World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday there was a “very narrow window now to prevent genocide” in his home region of Tigray in northern Ethiopia.

Tedros, who previously served as Ethiopia’s health minister and foreign affairs minister, has been sharply critical of Ethiopian authorities throughout the two-year war.

The government has, in turn, accused him of trying to procure arms and diplomatic backing for rebel forces – charges he has denied.

In his sharpest comments on the war yet, Tedros told reporters in Geneva that food and healthcare were being used as weapons of war in Tigray, which is largely cut off from the outside world.

“There’s no other situation globally in which 6 million people have been kept under siege for almost two years,” Tedros said. “There is a very narrow window now to prevent genocide.”

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu, Redwan Hussein, the national security advisor to the prime minister, and the prime minister’s spokesperson Billene Seyoum did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Ethiopian government has repeatedly denied blocking humanitarian supplies to Tigray or targeting civilians. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine.

Ethiopian forces and their allies have captured several towns in Tigray this week, raising fears that the advancing soldiers will commit abuses against civilians.

A joint investigation by the United Nations and Ethiopia’s state-appointed human rights commission last year found that all sides fighting in the Tigray war committed violations that may amount to war crimes.

Ethiopia’s government said this week that its forces respect human rights.
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addresses the 75th World Health Assembly at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The Tigray conflict is rooted in long-running rivalries between regional power blocs over control of Ethiopia as a whole and in deep disagreements over how power should be balanced between federal and regional authorities.
Alpine glaciers could disappear by the end of the century. The consequences will be felt not only in the Swiss Alps but throughout Europe.

Ethiopian authorities have previously accused Tedros of supporting Tigray forces, without providing evidence.

“Yes, I’m from Tigray, and yes, this affects me personally. I don’t pretend it doesn’t,” Tedros said on Wednesday.

“I have many relatives in some of the most affected areas. But my job is to draw the world’s attention to crises that threaten the health of people wherever they are.”

Global CO2 emissions to grow less than 1% this year thanks to renewables- IEA
A general view shows brick factories as smoke rises from the stacks in the town of Nahrawan in Baghdad, Iraq June 5, 2022. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) By Nina Chestney-Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are expected to rise by just under 1% this year, as the expansion of renewables and electric vehicles outweighed coal demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

CO2 emissions are on course to increase by nearly 300 million tonnes to 33.8 billion tonnes this year, a far smaller rise than their jump of nearly 2 billion tonnes in 2021, the agency said in a report.

The rise this year has been driven by power generation and the aviation sector as air travel rebounds from pandemic lows.

While that increase could have been much larger at possibly 1 billion tonnes with countries’ coal demand surging as gas prices soared due to the war in Ukraine, deployment of renewable energy and EVs have kept a lid on the rise in emissions.

“The global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a scramble by many countries to use other energy sources to replace the natural gas supplies that Russia has withheld from the market,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“The encouraging news is that solar and wind are filling much of the gap, with the uptick in coal appearing to be relatively small and temporary,” he added.

The report said solar photovoltaic and wind were leading an increase in global renewable electricity generation of more than 700 terawatt-hours (TWh), the largest annual rise on record., this year. Without this increase, global CO2 emissions would have been more than 600 million tonnes higher this year.

Despite droughts in several regions, global hydropower output is up year-on-year, contributing over one-fifth of the expected growth in renewable power.

The European Union’s CO2 emissions are on course to decline this year despite higher coal emissions. The rise in European coal use is expected to be temporary, as a strong pipeline of new renewable projects is forecast to add around 50 gigawatts of capacity next year.
Alpine glaciers could disappear by the end of the century. The consequences will be felt not only in the Swiss Alps but throughout Europe.

In China, CO2 emissions are set to remain flat in 2022 due to weaker economic growth, the impact of drought on hydropower, and deployments of solar and wind.

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