Awareness of Safety Measures on Pesticide Use among Farm Workers in Selected Villages of Aunglan Township, Magway Division, Myanmar

  • Thant Zaw Lwin Defence Services Medical Academy, Yangon, Myanmar; College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
  • Aung Zaw Min Military Institute of Nursing and Paramedical Sciences, Yangon, Myanmar
  • Mark Gregory Robson Rutgers University - School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick, New Jersey USA
  • Wattasit Siriwong College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
Keywords: Pesticides, Farm workers, Education level, Personal protective equipment, Myanmar

Abstract

Background: Myanmar is a developing agricultural nation that inevitably uses pesticides in agricultural food production. Consequently, knowledge based on how to use and react to pesticide poisoning is crucial. Pesticides cause adverse health outcomes for human and animals as well as the environment. In Myanmar, most farm workers handle pesticides without using personal protective equipment (PPE). This is because they do not understand the actual effectiveness of PPE because their education level is not high and they lack awareness of pesticide and safety precaution measures. Thus, it is important to find out knowledge and practice levels relating to the safe use of pesticides. This study investigated the knowledge and practice of the safe use of pesticide among farm workers.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was applied. One hundred farm workers in the Aunglan Township and Magway Region were selected by using simple random sampling. This study was conducted during May 2016. Data collection was done by face to face interviews with semi-structured questionnaires. The study used descriptive statistics regarding frequency and percentage to analyze the data.

Results: This study revealed that respondents in both villages were educated to primary level. Half of the respondents in each village did not know how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) properly, while a few of them knew the importance of wearing an apron and protective clothes. Pesticides were used in a combination of at least 2 to 3, and sometimes up to 5 kinds which were mixed and sprayed on the crops.

Conclusion: Since half the farm workers lack knowledge of the importance of PPE, this impacts health outcomes. Hence, educating people on how to use PPE is highly recommended. A further study to assess the use of PPE should also be addressed. In order to mitigate this issue, one suggestion is that pesticide sellers should be registered and sell only registered pesticides. More surveys should be carried out to cover a larger population; so that cases detected could be given medical assistance.

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How to Cite
Lwin, T. Z., Min, A. Z., Robson, M. G., & Siriwong, W. (1). Awareness of Safety Measures on Pesticide Use among Farm Workers in Selected Villages of Aunglan Township, Magway Division, Myanmar. Journal of Health Research, 31(5), 403-409. Retrieved from https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/jhealthres/article/view/99567