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Healthcare-seeking behaviour and use of traditional healers after snakebite in Hlabisa sub-district, KwaZulu Natal

Sloan, D. J., Dedicoat, Martin and Lalloo, David ORCID: (2007) 'Healthcare-seeking behaviour and use of traditional healers after snakebite in Hlabisa sub-district, KwaZulu Natal'. Tropical Medicine & International Health, Vol 12, Issue 11, pp. 1386-1390.

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OBJECTIVE To quantify snakebite incidence in Hlabisa sub-district and examine healthcare seeking behaviour, focussing on the use of traditional healers and medications.
METHODS Snakebite incidence was calculated by retrospective register review at Hlabisa Hospital for the period 2000-2005 and at associated primary health care clinics for 2005. Fifty consecutive in-patient snakebite victims were interviewed. Treatment-seeking pathways, bite-to-admission times and factors associated with delay or use of traditional therapy were analysed.
RESULTS The annual hospital snakebite incidence was 53 bites per 100 000 population. In 2005, combined hospital and community incidence was 58 per 100 000. Eighty per cent of admitted snakebite victims used traditional medicine and 62.5% of these consulted a traditional health practitioner (THP). The median time until admission was 7 h 15 min (interquartile range: 4-14.25 h). The median time until THP consultation was 15 min (interquartile range 5-50 min). THP consultation was associated with bite-to-hospital admission delays of more than 6 h [relative risk: 1.82, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-3.03, P = 0.0016). Non-statistically significant trends towards THP use were observed if hospital access was poor or if patients were younger than 9 years.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: snakebites traditional medicine healthcare anti-venoms kwazulu natal south africa bite epidemiology
Subjects: WB Practice of Medicine > Therapeutics > WB 300 General works
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WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Clinical Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Ms Julia Martin
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2010 13:56
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:01


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