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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4208405, 8 pages
Research Article

Acute Pesticide Poisoning in Children: Hospital Review in Selected Hospitals of Tanzania

1Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, P.O. Box 3024, Arusha, Tanzania
2School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), P.O. Box 65015, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
3School of Public Health & Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory 7925, South Africa

Correspondence should be addressed to Elikana Lekei

Received 28 August 2017; Revised 20 November 2017; Accepted 3 December 2017; Published 26 December 2017

Academic Editor: Maria Teresa Colomina

Copyright © 2017 Elikana Lekei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Acute pesticide poisoning (APP) is a serious problem worldwide. Because the burden of childhood APP is unknown in Tanzania, this study describes the distribution, circumstances, and patterns of APP involving children under 18 years in Tanzania. Methodology. A 12-month prospective study was conducted in 10 Tanzanian healthcare facilities in 2006 using a data collection tool for surveillance. Results. Of 53 childhood poisoning cases identified, 56.6% were female. The most common poisoning circumstances were accidents (49.1%) and suicide (30.2%). The most vulnerable children were 16-17 years old (30.2%). Suicide was significantly more common in females (PRR females/males = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.03–2.68) and accidental cases were more common in children aged 10 years or younger. Suicide was concentrated in children over 10 years, comprising 53% of cases in this age group. Organophosphates (OPs), zinc phosphide, and endosulfan were common amongst reported poisoning agents. The annual APP incidence rate was 1.61/100,000. Conclusion. APP is common among children in this region of Tanzania. Prevention of suicide in older children should address mental health issues and control access to toxic pesticides. Prevention of accidents in younger children requires safer storage and hygiene measures. Diverse interventions are needed to reduce pesticide poisoning among children in Tanzania.