Investigation on Five Years (2010 – 2014) Food Poisonings Recorded in Bamenda and Ndop Public Hospitals, Cameroon

Jean Sonchieu, Michel Azouline, Benoit Martin Ngassoum


Context. In Cameroon, food poisoning has become a public health concern. Objectives. This study aimed to provide information on food poisoning cases recorded in four (4) main public hospitals (Regional Hospital Bamenda, Bambui Health District, PMI Hospital and Ndop Health District) of the North-West Region, from 2010 to 2014. Methods. The collection of data was based on extracting patients’ information from daily record books of the hospitals using a form. Data analysis was performed using statistical software package SPSS 16.0. Results. Among 323,169 persons consulted, 252 peoples were poisoned through food: 48% women and 52% men aged between 1 and 70 years with highest number raging between 5 and 35 years old (85%); the year 2011 recorded the highest number of food intoxicated patients (26%), most of the patients were farmers and students; Bamenda Regional Hospital scored the highest number (42%); Mile 4, Bambui and Akum were sectors presenting the highest number of residents (total of 27%); pesticides were the most frequent toxic, over the 252 people consulted, only 75% recovered; the most frequent symptoms were vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache and headache; foods consumed were indigenous (Achu, fufu corn, fresh cassava, plantains, sweet potatoes, beans, meat among others ) and water; treatment given was indigenous (milk, red oil and charcoal) or adequate medicines once received in the hospital. Conclusion. Education on good hygienic practices becomes necessary for the population and farmers should be trained on handling, manipulating and storing pesticides methods.

Contexte. Au Cameroun, les intoxications alimentaires font légion. Objective. Cette étude a pour objectif de récolter les informations sur des intoxications alimentaires reçus dans quelques hôpitaux de la Région Nord-Ouest, Cameroun : Regional Hospital Bamenda, Bambui Health District, PMI Hospital et Ndop Health District), entre 2010 et 2014. Méthodes. Les informations collectées, à l’aide d’un formulaire, sont issues des données mentionnées dans les enregistres au sujet des malades empoisonnés. L’analyse des données s’est faite à l’aide du logiciel statistique SPSS 16.0. Résultats. Ils montrent que : 323,169 personnes ont été consultées pendant cette période, parmi elles 252 avaient été intoxiqués par des aliments, soient 48% femmes et 52% hommes dont l’âge variait de 1 à 70 ans avec une forte concentration entre 5 et 35 ans (85%); l’année 2011 présente le niveau de fréquence le plus élevée (26%); la majorité des patients étaient des agriculteurs et élèves (étudiants); Mile 4, Bambui et Akum sont des zones d’origine de plusieurs patients (27%); les pesticides étaient le toxique le plus récurrent ; seulement 75% des patients ont recouvré leur état de santé normal; les symptômes les plus fréquents étaient vomissement, diarrhée, colique et maux de tête; les aliments consommes: taro, couscous mais, plantains, manioc frais, patate douce, haricot, viande et l’eau ; les traitements les plus administrés étaient indigènes (lait, charbon actif , huile rouge) ou médicaux. Conclusion. Il s’avère nécessaire d’éduquer les populations sur l’hygiène alimentaire et de former les agriculteurs sur les précautions de manutention, manipulation et pulvérisation des pesticides.


food poisoning, hospital records, patients, symptoms

Full Text:



Ngamo L.S.T, and Hance T. Diversité des ravageurs des denrées et méthodes alternatives de lutte en milieu tropical. Tropicultura. 2007 ; 25(4) : 215-220.

Bordet F. Food poisoning prevention in the setting of a cooking workshop. Soins Aides - Soignantes, . 20107; (32): 20-21. DOI: SAS-02-2010-7-32-1770-9857-101019-201001024

Bencko V. and Príkazská M. Food-borne infections and intoxications . Prakticky Lekar. 2010 ; 90 (5): 274-279.

Sonchieu J, Ngassoum M.B, Nantia A.E, Laxman P.S. Pesticides Applications on Some Vegetables Cultivated and Health Implications in Santa, North West-Cameroon. SSRG International Journal of Agriculture & Environmental Science (SSRG-IJAES). 2017; 4 (2): 39-46.

Pouokam G.B, William L.A, Alice S.N, and Mohamed E. S. A Pilot Study in Cameroon to Understand Safe Uses of Pesticides in Agriculture, Risk Factors for Farmers’ Exposure and Management of Accidental Cases. Toxics. 2017; 5(30):1-15.

Daoudou N. Z, Tiku K. P, Imele H, Mendi S, Foko J. Microorganisms associated with of Colanuts (Cola nitida Vent Schott of Endlicher) in the North West Province of Cameroon. Master diss. University of Dschang, Cameroon. . 2002; 68 p

Hamer D.H. and Gorbach S.L. Intestinal infections: overview. In: International Encyclopaedia of Public Health (ed. Heggenhougen K). Academic Press, Oxford, . 2008. pp.683–695

Bough M. Food-Associated Intoxications. Small Animal Toxicology Essentials. 2013. 547; 207-219. DOI: 10.1002/9781118785591.ch24

Toldrá T, and Fung D.Y.C. Microbial Hazards in Foods: Food-Borne Infections and Intoxications. Handbook of Meat Processing. 2010; 28: 481-500. DOI: 10.1002/9780813820897.ch28

. International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS). Environmental Health Criteria 240 Principles and Methods for the Risk Assessment of chemicals in Food. Chapter 8 Maximum Residue Limits For Pesticides And Veterinary Drugs. A joint publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. 2009.

Hefnawy W.F. Sensitivity of Listeria Monocytogenes to selected species. Journal of Food Protection. 200956: 876-878.

Stockman W, Durnez P, and Spoelders K. Food intoxication. Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, . 2008; 64 (21): 1091-1093. DOI: 10.2143/TVG.64.21.2000429

Badarou S, Coppieters Y. Endosulfan poisoning from food: A reporting and management system in Benin. Environnement, Risques et Sante. 2009; 8 (2): 133-136.

Biró G. Foodborne infections and bacterial intoxications - A new-old challenge for food science and medicine. Acta Alimentaria. 2003; 32 (2): 119-123. DOI: 10.1556/AAlim.32.2003.2.1

Tata E. Estimating hygienic situation in the preparation of North West foods. Master dissertation, The University of Dschang. 2012; 78p.

Sonchieu J. Selling pesticides in Ngaoundere, Cameroon. Crop protection. . 2006; 48: 180-181.

Akum U.L. Pesticide handling and health implications on farmers in Santa sub-division. DIPES II dissertation, The University of Bamenda. 2016; 68p

Zephania N.F. Montane resources exploitation and the emergence of gender issues in Santa economy of the western Bamboutos highlands, Cameroon. Int. J. Geo. Reg. Plan. Res. . 2014; 1(1): 1-12.

National Institute of Statistics: North West Branch (NIS:NWB). Catalogue of statistics of the North West region of Cameroon. . 2015; P269.

Sinell H.J. Control of food-borne infections and intoxications. International Journal of Food Microbiology.1995; 25 (3): 209-217. DOI: 10.1016/0168-1605(94)00142-S.

Wong H.L, Garthwaite D.G, Ramwell C.T, CBrown D. Assessment of exposure of professional agricultural operators to pesticides. Science of the Total Environment. 2018; 619-620 , 874-882. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.127.

Glaizal M, Schmitt C, Tichadou L, Sapori J.M, Hayek-Lanthois M, De Haro L. Food poisonings related to organic buckwheat contaminated with Datura sp.: A poison control and toxicovigilance center activity. 2013. 42 (10):1412-1415. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2013.04.014

Fleurette J. Staphylococcal food poisoning. La revue de référence infirmière. 1991 ; 547 : 23-25.

Marzhokhova M.Y, Zhelikhazheva Z.M. Evaluation of the endogenous intoxication syndrome in food toxic infections () Klinichescheskaya Laboratornaya Diagnostika. 2009; 1:15-18.

Batty G.D, Kivimäki M, Bell S, Gale C.R, Shipley M, Whitley E, Gunnell D. Psychosocial characteristics as potential predictors of suicide in adults: An overview of the evidence with new results from prospective cohort studies. . Translational Psychiatry. 2018; 8 (1): art. no. 00728, . doi: 10.1038/s41398-017-0072-8.

Bouvet J.M. Salmonella food poisoning. La revue de reference infirmiere. 1991 (547): 26-28.

Murone A.J.B, Stucki P, Roback M.G, Gehri M. Severe methemoglobinemia due to food intoxication in infants. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2005 21(8): 536-538. DOI: 10.1097/01.pec.0000175452.15793.7e

Sonchieu J, Akono E. N, Ngwamitang C.T, Ngassoum M.B. Heath risk amongst pesticides sellers in Bamenda (Cameroon) and peripheral areas. Environmental Science and Pollution Research . 2018 ; 1-7.

Gaulin C. Food poisoning caused by a chemical product. Union Medicale du Canada. 1993; 122 (5): 354-356.

Jeon U, Park S, Park S, ELee Y, Gil H.W. Clinical characteristics of stress cardiomyopathy in patients with acute poisoning. Scientific Reports. 2018; 8 (1): 223.

Ngoko Z, Marasas W.F.O, Rheeder J.P, Sherphard G.S, Wingfield M.J. Fungal infection and mycotoxin contamination of maize in the Humid Forest and the Western Highlands of Cameroon. Phytoparasitica. 2001 29 (4): 352-360.

Matthews G.A, Dobson H.M, Wiles T.L, Warburton H. The impact of pesticide application equipment and its use in developing countries, with particular reference to residues in food, environmental effects and human safety. Rome: FAO. 2003; 8; 15–25.

Mead P.S, Slutsker L, Dietz V, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Food-Related Illness and Death in The United States,” Emerging Infectious Diseases.1999;5(5): 607-25.

Gerage J. M, Ana G. M. P, and Marina S. V. Food and nutrition security: pesticide residues in food. Nutrire. 2017; 42: 3-7. DOI 10.1186/s41110-016-0028-4

Caswell J.A. Development of Risk-based Food Safety Systems for Foodborne Infections and Intoxications . Foodborne Infections and Intoxications. 2013; 53-64. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416041-5.00004-4.

Gold L.S, Slone T.H, Ames B.N, and Manley N.B. Pesticide Residues in Food and Cancer Risk: A Critical Analysis. In: Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology, Second Edition (R. Krieger, ed.), San Diego, CA: Academic Press. 2001; 10: 799-843.

Margaret S, Donald C, Kathleen K, Cathy V, Luz H.S, Kate B. Pesticide Health Effects and Children. In: Systematic Review of Pesticide Human Health Effects. 2004; 8:167-169.

Taha R.R., Alghalibi S.M, Saeed S.M.G. Salmonella spp. in patients suffering from enteric fever and food poisoning in Thamar city, Yemen. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 2013; 19 (1): 88-93.

World health organization (WHO). Statistical information on food-borne disease-microbiology and chemical hazards-, FAO/WHO Pan-European conference on food safety and quality, Budapest, Hungary, 25-28 February 2002. 2002.

Jean S, Ngassoum M. B, Tchatchueng J. B, Srivastava A. K, and Srivastava L. P. Survey of pesticide residues in maize, cowpea and millet from northern Cameroon: part I. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B. 2010; 3(3):178–184.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.