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Snake bite is a major public problem in the rural tropics. In southern Nepal, most deaths caused by neurotoxic envenomation occur in the village or during transport to health centers. The effectiveness of victims' transport by motorcycle volunteers to a specialized treatment center, combined with community health education, was assessed in a non-randomized, single-arm, before-after study conducted in four villages (population = 62,127). The case-fatality rate of snake bite decreased from 10.5% in the pre-intervention period to 0.5% during the intervention (relative risk reduction = 0.949, 95% confidence interval = 0.695-0.999). The snake bite incidence decreased from 502 bites/100,000 population to 315 bites/100,000 population in the four villages (relative risk reduction = 0.373, 95% confidence interval = 0.245-0.48), but it remained constant in other villages. Simple educational messages and promotion of immediate and rapid transport of victims to a treatment center decreased the mortality rate and incidence of snake bite in southeastern Nepal. The impact of similar interventions should be assessed elsewhere.

Citation

Sanjib K Sharma, Patrick Bovier, Nilambar Jha, Emilie Alirol, Louis Loutan, Fran├žois Chappuis. Effectiveness of rapid transport of victims and community health education on snake bite fatalities in rural Nepal. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2013 Jul;89(1):145-50

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PMID: 23568287

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