Potential Interventions for Preventing Pesticide Self-Poisoning by Restricting Access Through Vendors in Sri Lanka.
Weerasinghe M., Konradsen F., Eddleston M., Pearson M., Jayamanne S., Gunnell D., Hawton K., Agampodi S.
BACKGROUND: In South Asia, up to one in five individuals who use pesticides for self-harm purchase them immediately prior to the event. AIMS: From reviewing the literature we proposed four interventions: (a) farmer identification cards (ID); (b) prescriptions; (c) cooling-off periods; and (d) training pesticide vendors. We aimed to identify the most promising intervention. METHOD: The study was conducted in Sri Lanka. We mapped stakeholders' interest and power in relation to each intervention, and followed this by a ranking exercise. Seven focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to assess facilitators and barriers to implementation. RESULTS: Vendor training was the most supported intervention, being ranked first by the stakeholders. The participants in the FGDs strongly supported training of vendors as it was seen to be easy to implement and was considered more convenient. Farmer IDs, prescriptions, and cooling-off periods were thought to have more barriers than facilitators and they were strongly opposed by end users (farmers and vendors), who would potentially block their implementation. LIMITATIONS: Cost considerations for implementing the proposed intervention were not considered. CONCLUSION: Training vendors might be the most appropriate intervention to restrict sales of pesticides to people at risk of suicidal behavior. This requires field testing.