NAT_230112 Poison Hotline_-1673588642714
The initiative was launched during the Menatox conference in the UAE capital Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A new hotline in Abu Dhabi will provide information to community members about how to manage poisoning and overdose cases.

An initiative by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi’s (DoH) Research and Innovation Centre (RIC), the new 800424 hotline will function from 7am to 11pm on weekdays. The service was launched by the health regulator during the Middle East and North African Clinical Toxicology Conference (Menatox), which is running in the capital until Saturday.

Professional assistance

Named the Poison and Drug Information Service, the hotline aims to prevent and treat poisoning injuries, and raise awareness about the need for safe drug use. Specially trained professionals will assist caller, and the ROIC will explore further cooperation between partners in the field to develop further regulations and policies to ensure the highest levels of chemical safety in the emirate.

The RIC said the DoH is also seeking to strengthen research efforts in Abu Dhabi in order to develop the clinical toxicology field further, and to improve healthcare outcomes.

Extending timings

Over the course of the year, the RIC will work to increase the working hours of the hotline till services are available around the clock, every day. In the next phase, the scope of services will also be expanded to include guidance for healthcare professionals, and data will be collected and analysed to aid planning, scientific research and enhancing efficiency.

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Dr Asma Al Mannaei, RIC executive director said in an address at Menatox, said: “The Drug and Poison Information Service will offer guidance to our community at large and the healthcare sector in specific on the management of patients with poisonings and drugs overdoses, in accordance with international best practices and standards. Through this service, we aim to expand poison prevention and treatment and reduce the incident of accidental poisoning.”

She added: “Reiterating Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare, day in and day out, we work towards ensuring that the emirate is equipped with a world-class healthcare ecosystem in accordance with international standards and best practices for the benefit of all members of our community.

“We are committed to continuously providing comprehensive services that meet all the needs of our community. We call on the community members to leverage the services provided, and to not hesitate in contacting the hotline if any relevant assistance is needed.”

Protecting community

Dr Badria Alhatali, Menatox president, said: “Poison centres around the world have proven their ability to improve the health and safety of members of society by preventing poisoning, promoting the health of the infected, and raising the efficiency of healthcare and public health systems. We are delighted that DoH is launching the drug and poison information service at the conference.”