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BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7573.822 (Published 19 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:822

Cough syrup kills 22 in Panama: Twenty two people in Panama have died after taking a cough syrup made in a government laboratory (www.nytimes.com, 16 Oct, “A killer in a medicine bottle shakes faith in government”). The syrup was found to contain diethylene glycol.

Black Londoners' mental health problems could be treated better: African and Caribbean people in London are 1.6 times more likely to use specialist mental health services than white people and more likely to be admitted to psychiatric and medium secure units, says a report from the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (The Costs of Race Inequality, www.scmh.org.uk).

Health in Sierra Leone is still at “disaster levels”: Five years after a devastating civil war Sierra Leone's health conditions are still at “disaster levels,” says Médecins Sans Frontières. The charity's report shows crude mortality of 1.8 deaths per 10 000 people a day (Lessons from Pain: Treating Sierra Leone's Endless Health Emergency, www.msf.org).

Health care takes largest slice of UN emergency fund: The health sector accounted for 34% of the $77m (£41m; €61m) in grants disbursed between March and October by the new UN central emergency response fund to 16 countries—mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa—with underfunded humanitarian crises. So far $273m has been pledged to the fund, of which $70m has come from the UK, the largest donor.

UK transplantation services are overstretched: A report from an all party parliamentary group has called on the government to overhaul transplantation services (More Transplants, Saving More Lives, www.kidney.org.uk).

Chief medical officer answers doctors' questions: Listeners to BMJ Audio can hear Liam Donaldson respond to doctors' queries on issues ranging from the amount of influence he has over the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to the dismantling of the GMC. The interview is accessible at bmj.com/audio.

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