Nepal | May 26, 2020

Use of pesticides to commit suicide on the rise

Himalayan News Service
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Farmers have also become the victims of pesticide poisoning

Kathmandu, March 22

Health experts have urged the people to properly manage pesticides at home as their use to commit suicide are on the rise.

Experts have also advised people to give first aid to such patients before taking them to hospitals.

At least two to three cases of self-poisoning are reported at the emergency ward of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital on daily basis. “There used to be two to three such cases in a week some five years ago. But the number of such cases has gone up in the last few years,” said Dr Ramesh Kumar Maharjan, associate professor at TUTH.

In most of the cases of poison intake, people are found to be consuming organophosphate, also known as metacid. This pesticide is found easily in the market and people going through depression or family trouble tend to consume such poison to commit suicide.

People generally think of committing suicide due to stress, failures, marital conflict, depression and mental health problems. “Acute toxicity syndrome — back pain, blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, extreme exhaustion, headache, loss of appetite, muscular weakness, nausea, respiratory difficulties, skin irritation and speech difficulty is seen in them,” said Dr Maharjan. Secretion from mouth, swelling of eyes too is seen in patients.

The farmers too are the victims. They are found to be handling such chemicals with bare hands and through skin it reaches the stomach and is circulated in the body through blood. Those eating raw salads could also be the victims of insecticides and pesticides. In most of the households, these chemicals are not managed properly and even kept within the reach of children, which can be turn out to be fatal, said Dr Maharjan.

“It is quite important for people to know about the first aid to be given to the patient of poisoning. Let the patient lie in the left lateral position, check airway, breathing, and provide oxygen, if available. Do not force the patient to vomit as the vomit is likely to go into the lungs and block the airway. It might result in immediate death,” said Dr Maharjan.

“It can sometimes take hours to take such patients to hospital. Before coming such a long way, people are advised to give such patients primary health care at the local health centres,” he said.


A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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