The massive expansion in the availability and use of chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, during the past few decades has led to increasing awareness on the part of the medical profession as well as the public and various authorities of the risk to human health posed by exposure to those chemicals. Global incidences of poisoning reached half a million fatalities a year as a result of various kinds of poisoning. Such a growing number of incidences of poisoning have highlighted the importance of countries having special programs for poison control, and in particular having the facilities for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of poisoning. According to WHO report, a poison information service should be available in every country, irrespective of its size or population, one center usually serves a population of 5-10 million.
Our National Drug and Poison Information Center was established as a pioneer project by an expert toxicologist from the faculty of medicine in collaboration between Jordan University, Ministry of Health, World Bank and Jordan Swedish Medical Association (JSMA). It was allocated a space at the Emergency Department in Jordan University Hospital and was officially opened by his Royal Highness Prince Ra'ad Bin Zaid the president of Jordan Swedish Medical Association in 2004. The center covers three major areas; information services, clinical services and analytical toxicology services. I am very happy to see a fully functioning center after years of hard work from several presidents of University of Jordan, Ministers of Health, General Directors of Jordan University Hospital and the staff of the center, many thanks to all for being part of the team that is serving the Jordanian community in an area that has never been available to Jordanians.
Prof. Kamal A. Hadidi
Coordinator of National Drug and Poison Information Center