Established in 2012, the Methanol Poisoning initiative (MPi) is a joint venture between Oslo University Hospital (OUH) and Doctors Without Borders, looking at mechanisms to improve the survival of methanol poisoning patients globally. Doctors Without Borders aims to reduce the harmful effects of methanol poisoning globally, by strengthening medical emergency knowledge and response capacity.
Doctors Without Borders’ teams are present in countries where methanol poisoning is common, supporting national and local health authorities in responding to methanol poisoning outbreaks. In Libya, Kenya, Russia, Indonesia and Cambodia, Doctors Without Borders had facilitated multiple trainings for local Ministry of Health staff, local NGOs and Doctors Without Borders personnel. The MPi team has also developed emergency preparedness plans, and facilitated the implementation of locally adapted treatment protocols and health information posters in various settings.
In addition, Doctors Without Borders had directly intervened in three large outbreaks; more than 1,000 patients were poisoned in Libya, March 2013, with a reported case fatality rate of 10%. In Kenya, in 2014, two outbreaks resulted in 341 and 126 patients, with case fatality rates of 29% and 21%.
At the moment, MPi focuses on the following:
- To support diagnosis, treatment and educational needs in high burden areas, including the development / updating of national treatment protocols
- To raise awareness and knowledge on methanol poisoning, and develop materials for public education
- To push for greater availability and accessibility to the antidote fomepizole through the fomepizole Access Campaign
- To support efforts in the development of a simple point-of-care diagnostic tool for the screening of methanol poisoning