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Toxics. 2016 Jul 28;4(3). pii: E13. doi: 10.3390/toxics4030013.

Toxicovigilance Systems and Practices in Africa.

Author information

1
Food Safety Laboratory, Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon. guy.pouokam@noodlesonlus.org.
2
Nutrition, Food Safety and Wholesomeness. Prevention, Education and Research Network (NOODLES), Via Mancinelli, 100, 00199 Rome, Italy. guy.pouokam@noodlesonlus.org.
3
Department of forensic chemistry, Naif Arab University for security sciences, Riyadh 11452, Saudi Arabia. hatemahmed29@yahoo.com.
4
Laboratory for Public Health Research Biotechnologies, Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon. rangwafor@yahoo.com.
5
External Relations Office, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy. chiara.frazzoli@iss.it.
6
Nutrition, Food Safety and Wholesomeness. Prevention, Education and Research Network (NOODLES), Via Mancinelli, 100, 00199 Rome, Italy. chiara.frazzoli@iss.it.

Abstract

African consumers and citizens are growingly aware of the wide range of toxic poisoning scenarios from different products and hazards. Recurrent episodes on poisoning that have been reported in Africa include toxic hazards in consumers' products ranging from food to herbal medicine, drugs, and cosmetics. Chemical poisoning remains an issue that is overlooked by public health stakeholders in Africa. Available information on toxicovigilance systems and practices in African countries is reviewed in terms of increasing development, organization and articulation levels. Less than nine out of 54 African countries have a legally recognized toxicovigilance system. Of these, the majority have created toxicovigilance systems recently, and are facing many challenges in developing them, at regional and country levels. Basic structures for a good toxicovigilance system include a phone line service (available 24/7), and hospital facilities. Pesticides emerge as the hazard recognized by all of the toxicovigilance systems, and may represent a prototypic toxicant towards a toxicovigilance system that is inclusive of a wider spectrum of toxicological hazards for the protection of community health. Toxicovigilance today is more reactive than preventive in Africa, but some milestones are present that constitute some promising seminal efforts.

KEYWORDS:

Africa consumer; poisoning; risk management; toxicosurveillance; toxicovigilance

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