Patient Study

Childhood poisoning in Warri, Niger Delta, Nigeria: A ten year retrospective study

Gilbert I.M. Ugwu, Blessing O. Okperi, Eunice N. Ugwu, Nekwu E. Okolugbo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 4, No 1 | a321 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v4i1.321 | © 2012 Gilbert I.M. Ugwu, Blessing O. Okperi, Eunice N. Ugwu, Nekwu E. Okolugbo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 June 2011 | Published: 22 June 2012

About the author(s)

Gilbert I.M. Ugwu, Department of Paediatrics Delta State University, Teaching Hospital Oghara, Nigeria
Blessing O. Okperi, Department of Paediatrics Delta State University, Teaching Hospital Oghara, Nigeria
Eunice N. Ugwu, Chevron Hospital Warri, Nigeria
Nekwu E. Okolugbo, Detartment of Otorhinolarygology, Delsu Warri, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Childhood poisoning is a common but avoidable problem in developing countries such as Nigeria.

Objectives: To determine the pattern of childhood poisoning in the Warri Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

Method: The case notes of all the children seen at Central Hospital Warri, the reference base for the region and GN Children Clinic the pioneer children’s hospital in the region. This is a review of cases over a ten year period, from 2000 to 2009. The information obtained was analysed.

Results: A total of 156 children aged 0–16 years diagnosed with poisoning were seen at the central hospital in Warri and at the GN Children’s Clinic which is also in Warri over a 10 year period from 2000 to 2009 under review. The male to female ratio is 2:1, and 75% of the children were aged 5 years or less. Most of the patients were from the low socio-economic class. Most of the poisoning was unintentional and occurred through ingestion (97.6%). Kerosene was the major substance leading to poisoning (56.6%). Alcohol ranked second in the study. Poisoning from drugs was the third most common source of poisoning and in that category most of the indices were in the highest income group. Most of the patients presented with mild symptoms and the mortality rate was 7%.

Conclusion: Kerosine was found to be the most common source of poisoning. Most of the poisoning was unintensional and deaths cause by this form of poisoning can be prevented with proper health education and effective enactment of laws that will reduce the incidence of childhood poisoning.


Keywords

childhood; poisoning; childhood poisoning; Nigeria; Warri Niger Delta of Nigeria

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