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Reducing health and environmental risks of pesticides

This series of policy briefs, published by Work and Health in Southern Africa (WAHSA), addresses pesticide use in the region and offers policymakers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) advice on how to reduce the health and environmental risks posed by pesticides.

Key issues tackled include the need to increase laboratory capacity to analyse pesticides and pesticide residues; establish surveillance systems for monitoring pesticide poisoning to inform prevention and control programmes; improve regulators' capacity to control the use of and exposure to pesticides; and create community pesticide monitoring programmes to engage local stakeholders in policymaking activities.

In each case, the WAHSA authors outline the existing problem in the region, give examples of ongoing projects aiming to address these, and propose actions that SADC stakeholders can take to improve the situation.

These include leveraging funds to support data collection and research, supply key equipment and infrastructure, and train a variety of actors — from local communities and agricultural extension workers to pesticide regulators and dealers.

Also important, say the briefs, is the need to promote general awareness about pesticides and facilitate discussions between relevant stakeholders on how to improve pesticide management in the region.

Acute pesticide poisoning and the need for national surveillance systems: The case example of Tanzania [1.65MB]

Pesticide laboratory capacity in the SADC region: A vital link in pesticide risk reduction [2.16MB]

Reducing the impact of pesticides through community pesticide monitoring [1.79MB]

Reducing pesticide risks through building capacity of African regulators [798kB]

South–South collaboration for pesticide safety [3.12MB]

These policy briefs were jointly prepared by Hanna-Andrea Rother and Leslie London at the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Aiwerasia Vera Festo Ngowi at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania; and Elekana Lekei at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, Tanzania.