Beware of poisoning


The number of poisoning cases has increased in Myanmar from 23,000 in 2011 to 36,000 in 2016. Many result in deaths.
Poisoning is caused by exposure to a harmful substance. This can be due to swallowing, injecting, breathing in, or other means. Most poisonings occur by accident.
Many of the poisoning deaths are preventable.
Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe said in his opening address at launching of the training on poisoning treatment at the Yangon General Hospital recently, his ministry is committed to promoting treatment on poisoning in Myanmar and would provide aid to research works for poisoning which mostly happened in our country.
Poisoning is a significant global public health problem. According to WHO data, in 2012 an estimated 193,460 people died worldwide from unintentional poisoning. Of these deaths, 84% occurred in low- and middle-income countries. In the same year, unintentional poisoning caused the loss of over 10.7 million years of healthy life (disability adjusted life years, DALYs).
Nearly a million people die each year as a result of suicide, and chemicals account for a significant number of these deaths. For example, it is estimated that deliberate ingestion of pesticides causes 370,000 deaths each year. The number of these deaths can be reduced by limiting the availability of, and access to, highly toxic pesticides.
Concerning with the food poisoning, which occurs when food contaminated with organisms is ingested, proper hygiene and handwashing can prevent this bacteria from entering food that will be eaten. The bacteria which can cause poisoning can commonly be found on people, but when allowed to grow in food this bacteria can produce a toxin that causes illness such as vomiting and diarrhea.
That bacteria can also be found in untreated water. Cooking at the right temperature is important in eliminating this bacteria when it has contaminated food.
A package does not have a warning label does not mean a substance is safe. You should consider poisoning if someone suddenly becomes sick for no apparent reason.
Symptoms of poisoning may take time to develop. However, if you think someone has been poisoned, DO NOT wait for symptoms to develop. Get medical help right away.
Anyway, immediate first aid is very important in a poisoning emergency. The first aid you give before getting medical help can save a person’s life.
The role of nurses is crucial for giving treatment of poisoning. It is necessary to prescribe lessons related with poisoning in the lecture for nurses.
Meanwhile, a public health system with data collection, carrying out research for poisonings in Myanmar, availability of medicines for treatment needs to be in place to support efforts for poisoning prevention and control in the country.

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