Background and aims Acute poisoning is a major preventable public health problem among children in developing countries. The aim of this study is to determine the epidemiological features of kerosene poisoning in Malian children.
Methods This is a descriptive retrospective study of kerosene poisoning in children under the age of 6 years, recorded between 2000 and 2010 in the medical records and the consultation registers at 15 hospitals in Mali.
Results There were 98 children poisoned by kerosene in Mali, accounting for 11.1% of all poisoning cases reported in children under the age of 6 years during the period of study. The average age of the patients was 1.8 ± 1.1 years. More than half of the cases (57.1%) were males with a male-female ratio of 1.3. The median delay in presentation to hospital was 3.6 h. According to the results, the poisoning symptoms were varied, depending on the ingested quantity and the delay before treatment. The average length of stay in hospital was 34 h, with a range of 1 h to 7 days. Among the cases for whom the outcome was known, 5 of them died. For other cases, the outcome was favourable with or without sequelae.
Conclusions The real number of kerosene poisoning in children is probably underestimated, because of the undiagnosed and unreported cases.