Red Cross Poison Info Centre

Afritox Branch
Servicing South Africa
Based in Cape Town, Western Cape
 
 
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ABOUT US

AfriTox helps doctors in Southern Africa treat patients exposed to any substance in our region. It focuses on local medicines and commercial products (using South African trade names), local plants, bites and stings. The treatment protocols are tailored to local conditions, are clearly presented and easy to interpret.

Nobody wants to be the cause of a tragedy, but accidents happen. Products can be misused and can cause harm. If manufacturers tell us what is in their products, we can tell doctors precisely how safe or toxic the products are. Very few manufacturers refuse to help us. Obviously we keep the information confidential. We've done that for 40 years.

Generous financial support from individual donors, a few companies and The Children's Hospital Trust has enabled the Poisons Information Centre to grow AfriTox steadily over the years. We now serve the whole of South Africa. Donor funding is key to keeping AfriTox afloat. If you can help, ask us about our projects: email us at afritox@uct.ac.za.

AfriTox poisons information database can only be used by registered health practitioners. For this reason access is limited to subscribers only. Members of the public needing advice on possible poisoning need to phone the Western Cape Poisons Telephone Service on 0861 555 777 (24 hrs) or use AfriTox MinTox for advice on minimally toxic substances.

SERVICES

AfriTox helps medical practitioners in Southern Africa diagnose and treat poisoning in adults or children who have been exposed to any substance encountered in our region. It contains information on an extensive range of poisons, but has a unique focus on local medicines and commercial products, local plants, bites and stings. Much of this information is not found in overseas toxicology databases. Where possible, photographs are included to aid with identification of snakes and scorpions.

Doctors can search for information by chemical substance or commercial product name. AfriTox lists the ingredients of a multi-component product in order of toxicity, providing toxic dose information and treatment protocols for each type of ingredient.

More than 600 treatment protocols are available on AfriTox. Treatment protocols are clearly presented and easily understood by doctors working under pressure in a busy Emergency Room. The treatment information is tailored to local conditions and includes only drugs and antidotes which are available in Southern Africa. Having AfriTox on site overcomes the challenges of lengthy telephone calls to the poisons emergency line and allows for continuous referral to accurate treatment protocols as a patient’s condition changes and treatment progresses.

AfriTox also identifies substances which are not toxic. This avoids unnecessary treatment or referrals.

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