Departmental Bulletin Paper Assessment of knowledge about snakebite management amongst healthcare providers in the provincial and two district hospitals in Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR

Inthanomchanh, Vongphoumy  ,  Reyer, Joshua A.  ,  Blessmen, Joerg  ,  Phrasisombath, Ketkesone  ,  Yamamoto, Eiko  ,  Hamajima, Nobuyuki

79 ( 3 )  , pp.299 - 311 , 2017-08 , Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, School of Medicine
Snakebite is a neglected condition and a common public health problem in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), with a high incidence of up to 1,105 cases per 100,000 persons per year. Snakebite patients with systemic envenoming do not receive effective treatment at local health facilities. Healthcare providers have only limited knowledge in assessing and providing the correct treatment for venomous snakebites. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 119 healthcare providers in Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR, with respect to their socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of snake identification, and management of snakebite. Data was analyzed using SPSS. Logistic regression was performed to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of adequate knowledge for treating snakebites among the healthcare providers. Among 119 participants, 27.7% and 45.4% had an adequate knowledge of snake identification and management of snakebites, respectively. Approximately 59% could correctly identify symptoms of envenomation, and 19.3% expressed confidence in treating snakebites. Study participants who had received training achieved significantly better snake identification results compared to those without training, with an OR of 2.54 (95% CI: 1.02–6.28). In particular, physicians achieved significantly better results compared to nurses in knowing how to manage snakebites, with an OR of 2.31 (95% CI: 1.04–5.12). Given the level of inadequate knowledge of snakebite management among healthcare providers in the province, more training in snakebite management is needed. University and Health Science Colleges should include snakebite management into the curriculum, to ensure that medical graduates have the appropriate knowledge and skills to treat snakebites.

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