Health March 19, 2024 | 8:16 am

First poison center established in the country

Santo Domingo.- The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) jointly announced the establishment of a toxicological center in the country on Monday. The primary objective of this center is to provide specialized assistance and management for cases of poisoning.

According to a statement released by Public Health, the center will offer information, guidance, and specialized care for diagnosing and treating cases of poisoning. Additionally, it will conduct toxicological laboratory tests, develop programs for poisoning prevention and toxicovigilance, promote research on poisoning prevention and management, and manage mass poisonings by alerting health authorities for prompt decision-making and effective health responses in incidents involving chemical substances.

To initiate this initiative, an inter-institutional commission was formed by the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with PAHO advisors. This commission analyzed the feasibility of implementing the center.

Health Minister Víctor Atallah met with PAHO representative Alba María Ropero to validate specific details for the immediate commencement of installation work. As part of the preparation process, visits were conducted to pre-selected institutions to assess their physical, technological, and personnel capabilities. This assessment aimed to develop a roadmap and define the stages for the center’s development.

Minister Atallah described the establishment of a poison center as an unprecedented milestone for the country. He emphasized the necessity of having tools to mitigate health damage resulting from various causes, including improper handling of chemicals and food.

Ropero Álvarez underscored the significance of the initiative in reducing poisoning incidents. He noted that toxicological centers have been established across Latin America and the Caribbean to address similar situations of exposure to chemical substances. While a previous attempt was made in the Dominican Republic in 2009, Ropero Álvarez expressed confidence that the current endeavor would succeed.

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