Pesticide Management and Health

Pesticide abuse and overuse is still rampant in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Intensive use of extremely and highly hazardous chemicals by small-holder farmers continues to cause high incidences of farmer poisoning. Only a small number of severe poisoning cases are reported through the regular health care system. Most often mild or moderate poisoning cases are misdiagnosed because pesticide poisoning mimics other health problems. Health personnel are often not trained in dealing with occupational pesticide poisoning cases. Occupational pesticide poisoning is so underestimated that it cannot effectively inform policy. Farmers and farm workers handling pesticides should be properly educated on the potential health risks (both acute and longer-term) associated with use of toxic pesticides. National IPM Programmes have developed methodologies for farmer education and documenting pesticide-related health problems. This documentation can then be used for further advocacy and feed into policy development.

More information on community-based surveillance on pesticide poisoning and community health studies by farmers and children is available on:
A Farmer Self-Surveillance System of Pesticide Poisoning by Helen Murphy. A simple method for farmers to self-report signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning. 

Farmer and School Children's Cross Sectional Surveys on the Health Effects of Pesticides by Helen Murphy. A Manual on how to carry out Farmer-to-Farmer Studies and School Children's Studies.

You can also visit the section on Documents/Case Studies for various case studies on Pesticide management and health.

More information on Pesticide management and health can be found in: