Majority of poisoning cases involve female suicide, says health official

Egypt's National Poisoning Treatment Center receives 16 cases of poisoning daily, the majority consisting of failed suicide attempts by young women between the ages of 15 and 25, according to Essam Faiq, advisor at the National Poisoning Center Treatment.

In a seminar on Wednesday at Cairo University's first International Forum for Scientific Research, Faiq criticized Egypt's failure to research the issue. According to Faiq, the last comprehensive National Poisoning Center study was conducted in 2007.

"The most commonly used types of poison are pharmaceutical drugs and chemicals and sometimes illicit drugs. The study examined 5829 cases, most of them suicides, and these numbers increased in 2010," Faik said.

An advisor at The National Poisoning Treatment Center noted that the number of suicide attempts typically peak during June, July and August, and that a third of suicide attempts involved individuals between the ages of 15 and 25. Women account for the lion's share of poisoning cases, representing 3368 out of 5829 total cases in the 2007 study, most of which represented suicide attempts.

Faiq attributed the phenomenon to the pressures and difficulties that Egyptian women face in comparison with advanced nations where male suicide rates surpass female ones.

Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Faiq asserted that National Poisoning Treatment Center researchers are unable to investigate the composition of factory emissions because Egyptian law does not guarantee their access to factory facilities, even in instances where factory workers suffer serious health effects. Faiq considers factory emissions a probable cause for poisoning deaths.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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