Epidemiological Survey of Snake Bite in Ethiopia | OMICS International| Abstract
ISSN: 2161-1165

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  • Research Article   
  • Epidemiology (sunnyvale) 2014, Vol 4(4): 174
  • DOI: 10.4172/2161-1165.1000174

Epidemiological Survey of Snake Bite in Ethiopia

Abebe Mengesha Aga1*, Birhanu Hurisa1, Bethlehem Niwayesillassie1, Gezahegn Kebede1, Sisay Kerga1, Amha Kebede1, Alemayehu Godana1, David Warrell2, David Williams3, Sisay Taye1 and Kelbessa Urga1
1Ethiopian Public Health Institute, , Ethiopia
2University of Oxford, UK
3University of Melbourne, Australia
*Corresponding Author : Abebe Mengesha Aga, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tel: +251-112134032, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Jul 23, 2014 / Accepted Date: Sep 19, 2014 / Published Date: Sep 26, 2014


Background: The burden of snake bite in Ethiopia is not known, perhaps due to underreporting, and is difficult to estimate the number of victims because they do not seek medical treatment in government dispensaries. Thus this study aims to indicate the overall magnitude of the problem.

Material and Methods: The study covers 76 health facilities in 8 regional states. For epidemiological and clinical data, health facilities and health professionals were visited to collect retrospective data. Community elders and traditional healers were also consulted for further information.

Result: 949 snake bite cases were identified, where the highest number (244) observed in Oromia regional state. Males are the dominant victims (68.7%). More than 75% of the victims were aged 16-45, where the greatest incidence of snake bite occurred in those aged 21-30 years (32.9%) followed by those aged 11-20 years old (22.4%). Only 5.2% of anti-venom was available in 4 regional states.

Conclusion: Snake bite in Ethiopia is a public health problem and the lack of anti-venom makes things worse. There is insufficient knowledge, skill and experience of how to treat snake bite victims. Registration system is identified as one of the big problems to address the burden of the victims. Therefore it is recommended that training package should be given to health professionals on first-aid and preventive measures, case documentation and reporting. A change of attitude on traditional knowledge by training or awareness should be provided to traditional healers and community elders. Furthermore, the government should take urgent measures to ensure the sustainable availability of antivenom.

Citation: Aga AM, Hurisa B, Niwayesillassie B, Kebede G, Kerga S, et al. (2014) Epidemiological Survey of Snake Bite in Ethiopia. Epidemiology (Sunnyvale) 4:174. Doi: 10.4172/2161-1165.1000174

Copyright: © 2014 Aga AM et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.