In 1975, the science of toxicology was introduced in the country with the establishment of a poison control center at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). This was in response to the increasing incidence of poisoning brought about by indiscriminate use of pesticides. Activities of the Center focused on the management of acute poisoning cases and research.
Expanding outreach, upgrading services
In 1991, the Poisons Control and Information Service Network (PCISN) was created through a grant from the Canadian agency, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The main objectives of the project were to advocate for poisoning prevention, and to improve management of poisoning cases. In line with this project, the UP-PGH Poison Control Center was renamed to become the National Poison Control and Information Service (NPCIS) with the Philippine General Hospital serving as the training and service hospital and the Department of Pharmacology coordinating related efforts of other departments of the hospital, namely Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine Services, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Psychiatry. The project covered a period of four years, from 1991-1995. The services of the NPCIS included the following:
• Clinical treatment service
• Poison information service
• Analytical toxicology service
• Teaching/training service
• Research & development service
• Linkage and extension service
Also, in 1991, additional support to strengthen the above services was received from the Gesselschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).
With the establishment of NPCIS, a memorandum of agreement on partnership was signed by the Department of Health Secretary (Dr. Antonio Periquet) and the Chancellor of U.P. Manila (Dr. Ernesto Domingo) in June 2, 1992. The memorandum of agreement was reaffirmed on September 25, 1992 by the new Health Secretary who assumed office a few months later, Dr. Juan Flavier. Through this partnership , satellite poison centers in different regions of the country were established.
The NPCIS thus became the focal point of a nationwide network that has since been involved in managing poisoning cases, conducting health assessment activities on the health effects of chemical exposure among high-risk communities , conducting training courses and researches that are relevant for policy formulation.
The Center has always been based at the University of the Philippines-Manila, working with the different clinical departments of the PGH with regards management of poisoning cases and training of resident physicians and clinical fellows. It also collaborates with the basic science departments, particularly the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, on the academic training of clinical fellows, the conduct of postgraduate courses, and the strengthening of the analytical toxicology laboratory.
The NPCIS was recognized as a unit in the College of Medicine by virtue of College Circular No. 2003-A32 issued by Dean Ramon L. Arcadio on March 21, 2003.
The PGH-Poison Control and Information Unit was created in July 23, 2003 by then Director Juan Pablo R. Nañagas through Memorandum No. 2003-73.
In January 27, 2005, the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines in its 1192 and meeting approved the merging of the NPCIS and the PGH-PCIU. The unit was named National Poison Management and Control Center.
||Philippine General Hospital Complex
Taft Avenue, Manila 1000, Philippines