, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 164-168

Epidemiology of snakebites based on field survey in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts, Nepal

Abstract

Introduction

Snake envenomation is a major public health issue in the rural tropics, but there is no accurate figure of incidence of snakebite. Few studies have looked at the epidemiology of venomous snakebite in Nepal.

Methods

Using data collection sheets, enumerators randomly sampled, visited, and interrogated 20% of the population from each district.

Results

Of the 2,186 snakebite cases studied in two districts from April to September 2005, 66% were from Nawalparasi and 34% from Chitwan. 54% were males. 56% of patients consulted traditional healers. Most bites occurred in those 10–20 years of age and in those engaged in outdoor and agricultural (farmers) activities, but I should note that 15% occurred during sleep. Extremity bites accounted for 94%, with 66% in the lower extremities and 28% in the upper extremities. Of the total cases, 58% were non-envenomations and 42% were envenomations. Of the total venomous cases, 27% died; which is 12% of the total snakebites (2,186). The majority of bites occurred in the summer.

Conclusions

This epidemiological study vividly depicted the health hazards of snakebites in two areas of rural Nepal.

Funding provided by the University Grant Commission, New Baneshwor.