Pesticide poisoning is the second most common method of suicide in Malaysia.
A national ban on paraquat, a highly toxic pesticide that is deadly when ingested, was announced in 2002. However, the ban was later withdrawn, with restricted use permitted in 2006. This was subsequently followed by a 5.5 increase in paraquat poisoning cases reported to the Malaysia National Poison Centre in 2006-2015. A second national ban was introduced in January 2020.
CPSP is supporting a project of the National University of Malaysia to monitor the impact of Malaysia’s 2020 paraquat ban on the number of patients presenting to hospital with pesticide poisoning.
This pilot project involves collecting data from hospitals in Ipoh and Bintulu, including data from before and after the ban. The project also involves community-based advocacy and awareness building activities to support the implementation of the ban.
The preliminary results of the study showed that the majority of pesticide self-poisoning cases were intentional. Where the substance that caused poisoning was identified, paraquat was the most common type of pesticide used.
This project is being led by Dr Lai Fong Chan at the National University of Malaysia