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Int J Occup Environ Health. 2001 Oct-Dec;7(4):333-8.

The epidemiology of organophosphate poisoning in urban Zimbabwe from 1995 to 2000.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Yale Medical Center, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8030, USA.


The objective of this study was to examine current organophosphate usage in Zimbabwe. A cross-sectional descriptive study was done to determine the trends in admissions for organophosphate poisonings in an urban Zimbabwe hospital from 1995 to 2000. Variables such as sex, age, season, geographic area, and intent were examined. In 183,569 records, 599 cases of organophosphate poisoning were found. Organophosphate poisonings increased by 320% over the six years. The male and female admissions' rates were similar (48% vs 52%); 82% of the patients were less than 31 years old. Suicide was the predominant reason for poisoning (74%). Of admissions of children under the age of 10, 62% were due to accidental ingestion. Mortality from organophosphate poisonings was 8.3% over the six years. Organophosphate poisoning is increasing rapidly. In the background of this alarming trend is the physical, mental, and social state of a Zimbabwean society wrought with hardships.

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