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Ratnapura Poisoning Cohort

Self-poisoning is a major public health problem in Sri Lanka and it is one of the commonest methods of suicide in the country. Agrochemicals (pesticides and herbicides), poisonous plants, pharmaceuticals, household poisons (washing powder), corrosives and kerosene oil are the main agents used in Sri Lanka for deliberate self-poisoning. Among pesticides, organophosphate compounds and among plants, Yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana) and Niyagala (Gloriosa superba) are being commonly used. But, recently deliberate self-poisoning using medicinal drugs is becoming popular in both urban and rural areas of Sri Lanka. Intentional poisoning is mainly seen in adults whereas accidental poisoning commonly seen in children.

Teaching Hospital Ratnapura is situated in the Sabaragamuwa Province, approximately 50 kilometers away from the capital Colombo. It is the main tertiary care centre linked to the Faculty of Medicine, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. The hospital receives transfers from other local hospitals situated the Ratnapura district with population of 3 million. Approximately 138 000 patients present to the hospital annually of which, 700-950 are due to poisoning. This is an excellent base for clinical studies on poisoning in Ratnapura district and is a good opportunity to conduct clinical trials in order to expand knowledge in Medicine.