Systematic review of human poisoning and toxic exposures in Myanmar

Meghan A. Cook*, Pardeep S. Jagpal, Khin Hnin Pwint, Lai Lai San, Saint Saint Kyaw Thein, Thidar Pyone, Win Moh Moh Thit, Sally M. Bradberry, Samuel Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The International Health Regulations (2005) promote national capacity in core institutions so that countries can better detect, respond to and recover from public health emergencies. In accordance with the ‘all hazards’ approach to public health risk, this systematic review examines poisoning and toxic exposures in Myanmar. A systematic literature search was undertaken to find articles pertaining to poisoning in Myanmar published between 1998 and 2020. A number of poisoning risks are identified in this review, including snakebites, heavy metals, drugs of abuse, agrochemicals and traditional medicine. Patterns of poisoning presented in the literature diverge from poisoning priorities reported in other lower-middle income countries in the region. The experience of professionals working in a Yangon-based poison treatment unit also indicate that frequently observed poisoning as a result of pharmaceuticals, methanol, and petroleum products was absent from the literature. Other notable gaps in the available research include assessments of the public health burden of poisoning through self-harm, household exposures to chemicals, paediatric risk and women’s occupational risk of poisoning. There is a limited amount of research available on poisoning outcomes and routes of exposure in Myanmar. Further investigation and research are warranted to provide a more complete assessment of poisoning risk and incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3576
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Public Health England IHR Strengthening Project, a UK aid funded initiative supporting capacity building for IHR (2005) compliance. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) or other Government departments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Myanmar
  • Poisoning
  • Toxic


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