Title

Role of non-governmental organizations in the prevention and control of poisoning in Pakistan

Document Type

Article

Department

Emergency Medicine

Abstract

Introduction: Poisoning is an important public health issue globally. There are very few poison control centers in Pakistan with a very limited capacity to deal with poisoning emergencies. The aim of this study was to identify non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working for poison control and prevention in Pakistan and to assess their capacity and role in control of poisoning in Pakistan.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between October and December 2017. NGOs were identified through web-based search. They were contacted through telephone and emails. The data was recorded on a predesigned structured questionnaire. The questions were related to major areas including poison information, advice service, infrastructure, human resource and availability of clinical services.
Results: We found 408 healthcare NGOs, of which 168 responded either via phone call or email. Eight out of 168 were found to have some role in the field of prevention and control of poisoning. Of these, complete information was available for only six organizations. All were involved in some aspect of environmental poisoning with a focus on pesticide poisoning mostly for farmers. Almost all organization referred cases to local hospitals when necessary. However, they did not have any official referral system in place and links with any tertiary level facilities.
Conclusion: The study highlights that very few NGOs have some focus on the poisoning control and prevention. There is a window of opportunity for non-governmental sector to strengthen poisoning prevention and control for other forms of environmental poisoning for example caused by medicines, household chemicals, drug misuse, etc.

Publication

Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Toxicology

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