Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding snakebites among Purongo Subcounty community, Nwoya District
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Snakebite is a common public health problem with a high incidence all over the world. Critical information on snakebites knowledge and practices could be extremely beneficial in future management of patients. A cross-sectional study was conducted among selected households in Purongo community, Nwoya district and questionnaire with in-depth questions regarding knowledge, attitude and practice about snakes and snakebite were administered to 97 participants. Photographs of venomous and non-venomous snakes were shown to participant for identification based on questions. Among 97, participants, 92.8% (90/97) identified both the image and venomosity of the forest cobra while 90.7% (88/97) identified the image and venomosity of the Gaboon viper incorrectly. Many identified Python correctly (82.47%) but didn’t do the same for the vine snake. About 90% (89.7%, 87/97) of the participants had heard about snake bites. The cobra (22.7%, 22/97) and rough green snakes (22.7%, 22/97) were reported to be the most common in the area. A good number of the participants had witnessed or heard of someone who had been bitten by a snake 69.1% (67/97) and were quick to say that most victims were young men in their 20s. Upon being bitten by snakes, 86.6% (84/97) were able to access a health center with basic services to manage snakebites, and 8.2% (8/97) did not get services. The first line of management following a snakebite was mentioned by many as application of a tourniquet before seeking further medical attention. The suggested preventive measures were clearing bushes around homes, being careful when in possible snake habitats, wearing boots/shoes or simply avoiding such places. Those who have been bitten by a snake can play an important role in identifying the snake and can use novel approaches such as photographing it to help increase biting snake taxonomy collection in order to better understand their ecology and snakebite epidemiology, ultimately leading to improved snakebite management.