AIIMS Bhubaneswar to conduct study to control snakebite deaths
Bhubaneswar: All India Institute of Medical Sciences here will undertake research with an aim at reducing snakebite cases in Odisha, where an upward trend of deaths due to it has been witnessed. The study will help analyze the level of awareness about "appropriate first-aid methods, prevailing taboo, and healthcare-seeking behaviour in cases of snakebite", the institute said on...
Bhubaneswar: All India Institute of Medical Sciences here will undertake research with an aim at reducing snakebite cases in Odisha, where an upward trend of deaths due to it has been witnessed.
The study will help analyze the level of awareness about "appropriate first-aid methods, prevailing taboo, and healthcare-seeking behaviour in cases of snakebite", the institute said on Tuesday.
It will also aid in examining preventive practices to reduce snake intrusion, breeding, and biting on domestic premises, according to a release.
"The World Health Organization has declared snakebite a neglected tropical disease. It's a public health issue in Odisha," Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology additional professor Sudipta Ranjan Singh said.
Most people seek help from traditional healers and report late to hospitals even as a definite treatment is available, the official said.
"There are many other issues that need to be redressed, but valid research data regarding roadblocks to hospitals are lacking," the official said.
The research work is designed to identify the less-talked difficulties and improve the situation in Odisha, according to Singh, who is the investigator of the study.
AIIMS, Bhubaneswar underscored that the involvement of people was important to mitigate the number of snakebite deaths — around 800 per year– in the state.
The study will be conducted in Bhubaneswar and its neighboring areas initially in the current season. Around 400 families will be included, the institute said.
The research work is titled 'A cross-sectional study of knowledge, attitude, and practice on first aid, treatment and prevention of snakebite in the residents of a house from where a snake is rescued'.
The forensic medicine and toxicology department is undertaking the pilot study to tackle human-snake conflict. It is part of a proposed project of research, which will be taken up across the state.
This observational work will be conducted in collaboration with the Snake Helpline, an organisation engaged in rescue and rehabilitation of snakes in Odisha.
Volunteers will collect data from members of households where a call for rescue for snakes was made.
The citizens will be asked simple questions on snakes, snakebite, first-aid, prevention, and others. An awareness leaflet will also be handed over to the participants to improve their knowledge about the threat.
The study could not be started earlier due to the Covid restrictions.
Notably, AIIMS has developed a mobile application and website in association with the civil society organisation to help people on snakebite.