AKI: Father demands justice, explains how son died

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By Olimatou Coker

Lamin Sagnia, a three-year-old boy from Old Yundum died after being afflicted with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).

This morning, his parents and their neighbours will remember him in what is called the 40th day charity prayers.

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Lamin’s father Ebrima Sagnia has called on the authorities to ensure that justice prevails over his death and the deaths of 70 other children by making those culpable held to account.

The rash of deaths was traced to medicinal syrup made by the Indian Maiden Pharmaceuticals.

Sagnia who walked into the offices of The Standard yesterday said the deaths and the government’s initial failure to “appropriately empathise” with the bereaved families “was hard to swallow”.

He said when Lamin became ill, he took him to a clinic where a doctor told him the child contracted malaria and prescribed syrups which turned out to be the toxic products made by Maiden. He said Lamin’s condition started deteriorating after taking the medicine. 

He explained: “I noticed he was not urinating and that was when I took him to a private clinic in Brusubi and they referred us to EFSTH in Banjul. He died a few days later.

“The government should be able to come out and talk to the general public about what is in their hearts. No one prays for this to befall even his worst enemy. It is very disheartening for a big referral hospital like EFSTH to lack testing machines and drugs. 

“EFSTH is the hope of Gambians and should not lack medical items for the proper treatment of patients. During all the days I spent with my child in the hospital, there was not a single day that medicines prescribed by the doctors were available in the hospital pharmacy. I used to go and buy medicines from outside every day until the day my child died.

 “A lot of young lives are lost here and it cannot just go on like that.  This is not a loss for the parents alone but for the country at large. Who knows what these children who are dead would have become in the future? The government should dig into this matter to know how thes drugs entered the country. This will help to consol the families of the victims. We want justice to be done and to be seen to be done. Money cannot bring back the lives of our children. I know how it feels to face your child and see him or her in such a condition. Lamin used to ask me, ‘Daddy, will I go home?’, and I would assure him that he would be fine, not knowing that he was dying slowly in my arms without me noticing it,” Sagnia said with tears welling in his eyes. 

“I never knew I was taking my child to his grave. This is very sad and has really broken my heart,” he lamented.