The National Poisons Information Centre

Web Link to Poison Information Centre-


The National Poisons Information Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka was established on 1st of January 1988 with the assistance of the International development Research Centre, Canada.  It is situated in National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo under the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.  This centre is the first to be established in South-East Asia as a Poisons Information Centre with the effort of Prof. Ravindra Fernando who pioneered the establishment of the unit.  The National Poisons Information Centre has completed twenty six years of service.  The Centre now rendering its service nation-wide twenty four hours throughout the year.

The centre is now a full member of the World Federation of the Association of Clinical Toxicology and Poisons Control centres, and association affiliated to the World Health Organization.  In addition NPIC have the exclusive privilege to access the world class UK toxbase and Thailand poison information network.

It serves the entire country by providingup-to-date medicalinformation on all kinds of poison, aspects of poisoningand on acute poisoning management in Sri Lanka.  NPIC mainly provide clinical toxicology information related to hazard identification, clinical features of poisoning, diagnosis and management to the medical professionals.  Within the period of last twenty six years the centre has provided in response to 17493 enquiries made to the centre by medical professionals’ information regarding clinical management of poison exposure patients.

Health awareness and prevention of poisoning is one of the main scopes of the center. The center has freely distributed, printed leaflets, posters and stickers on prevention of chemicals, drugs, pesticides, plant and snake bites poisoning, identification of poisons and prevention of household poisoning and first-aid management to the general public and healthcare institutions. Furthermore, Centre is conducting awareness programs to the general public on prevention of poisoning as contributing to the National Health Week.

For the first time in the history of NPIC, official logo with its own identity for the center was introduced.  Four newsletters were also published with the approval of the Ministry of Health in year 2013 and 2014.  Newsletter 1 and 2 published in English medium was circulated among the all health care institutions and medical professionals.  The objective was to keep abreast the toxicology knowledge among the medical professionals by disseminating current cutting edge knowledge in toxicology spheres.  Newsletter 3 and 4 named as “Visa Vimasuma” and “Visa Vimansa” published in Sinhala medium were widely applauded by the among general public, school children etc.

The center has published and distributed updated medical book on Management of Poisoning.  In addition to this, Guidelines for Management of Paracetamol poisoning, Poisonous plants, Venomous snakes and Household poisoning, Banned chemical of Sri Lanka and Pesticide poisoning in Sri Lanka:  Review of the eighties and outlook for nineties were also published and freely distributed to all state hospitals throughout the Island as reference materials for the medical professionals.

NPIC also conducting in-service training programs and lectures for health care personnel and other relevant sectors.  The center has started for the first time to assist advance level students on their A/L projects to develop research methodology in the sphere of poisoning for their university entrance assignments by providing clinical data, leaflets, posters and handouts. Currently, critical care post graduate trainee doctors are experiencing week long comprehensive training in toxicology and poisoning management. Medical students are also doing their elective appointments for a one month period in the center.

Use of Agrochemicals and pesticides was identified as a major health problem in Sri Lanka.   In view to prevent pesticides and chemical poisoning in the country, the center provides safety evaluation reports with the expert advisory panel on new agricultural chemicals and pesticides introducing to the market with the request from the Pesticide Registration Office in Sri Lanka.

Prevalence of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin possibly caused by agrochemicals and heavy metals are currently identified as a major health concern in the country.  Therefore, NPIC launched a preliminary studies to find out the relationship of CKDu with heavy metals in the year 2014.

Poison centre has planned to establish a ground-breaking website on poison information in near future (Toxbase - Sri Lanka) for upgrade the quality of medical care related to acute and chronic poisoning, which will help to obtain clinical information with rapid access including advice on potentially hazardous doses and appropriate clinical management for the medical professionals.


Poison Centre Team

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