Snakebite epidemiology and health-seeking behavior in Akonolinga health district, Cameroon: Cross-sectional study

Jul 01, 2020

Among the 9,924 participants, 66 suffered a snakebite during the past year. 59 (89%) used family traditional practices, 25 (38%) traditional healers, and 31 (47%) consulted health facilities. Traditional treatments included incisions, tourniquets, and black-stones. The two last procedures were also used in health facilities. Consulting traditional healers was associated with severity (adjusted-OR: 19.6 (2.5–156), p = 0.005) and complications (aOR: 17.3, 2.4–123, p = 0.004). Long-term disabilities were subjective psychological trauma (n = 47; 71%), finger amputation (n = 1; 2%), ankylosis (n = 1; 2%) and chronic pain (n = 1; 2%).The study observed alarming levels of snakebite incidence, mortality, antivenom scarcity, and use of traditional medicine. It could represent several thousands of victims at national level. Researchers suggest conducting a country-wide study, and improving antivenom supply, first-aid training, for traditional healers and health professionals. PLOS Neglected Tropical Disease

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