Objectives Pesticide poisoning has become a major public health problem worldwide, following the intensification of agriculture. The easy availability of highly toxic pesticides in the homes of farming communities has made pesticides the preferred means of suicide with an extremely high fatality rate. Similarly, the extensive use of pesticides exposes the community to both long-term and acute occupational health problems. The aim of this study is to describe the main characteristics of acute pesticide poisoning in Sikasso.
Methods A descriptive retrospective analysis of pesticide poisoning cases, recorded between 2002 and 2010 in Sikasso hospital, was performed.
Results A total of 47 acute pesticide poisoning cases were identified, constituting 10,6% of poisoning cases notified during the period of study. These products were responsible for poisoning of varying severity, depending on the nature of the compounds, duration and frequency of exposure. The average age of victims is 24 years. Almost 90% of reported cases result from oral exposure and 10% from inhalation. The risk is mainly related to the use of organophosphates. Among the cases for whom the evolution is known, 6 of them died. For other cases, the outcome was favourable with or without sequelae.
Conclusions Preventive measures should be taken to rationalise pesticide use, which pose a real public health problem, not only for users, but also for the general population.
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