THE National Poisoning Control Centre (NPCC) is considering launching a toll-free helpline number a unique initiative to help improve services in the country.
The initiative was revealed by the Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (GCLA)-the supervising body detailing that the helpline was crucial for helping victims of poisoning to first receive first aid and then go to a nearby hospital.
GCLA Acting Manager Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Kagera Ng'weshemi said during the ongoing Geita international mining machinery technology and investment that cases of poisoning were still being reported across the country.
"We are working with several hospitals across the country. The toll-free number will help provide guidance not only to victims, but also to medical workers on the type of poison, the amount of poison consumed as well as recommended antidotes," he said.
He, however, did not issue a specific date, but only emphasised a process was at an advanced stage to set up the helpline.
Although the government and stakeholders had intensified public awareness to prevent poison cases, the lab continued analysing cases of poison involving carbamates, rat poisoning, illicit drugs and overdose as well as organochlorine and phosphates.
Experts say Tanzania loses over 550bn/- with at least 3,167 people dying annually due to food poisoning caused by aflatoxins- a deadly poison.
Economic assessment for aflatoxin contamination and control in the country reported recently that food poisoning was prevalent in the country and over 3,300 people were diagnosed every year with liver cancer linked to aflatoxins. Other cases also include pesticide poisoning.
One of the country shocking news this year was a media report that CCM Vice Chairman (Mainland) Phillip Mangula was mysteriously poisoned.