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Medical geography views on snakebites in Southeast Asia: a case study from Vietnam
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Marketing and Logistics.
2011 (English)In: Asian Geographer, ISSN 1022-5706, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 123-134Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The majority of venomous snakes are found in the world's tropical regions, and the majority of snakebites occur in rural areas of these regions where many people have to cope with snakes literally in their own backyard. Actual statistics are usually unreliable and snakebite statistics are not systematically reported in most countries. Many cases do not find their way into official records, and for many developing countries they may be of local interest only. Southeast Asia harbors one of the richest snake faunas in the world and snake- bites constitute a considerable health problem in many developing countries.

The empirical part of this paper is a case study of snakebite incidence in two communes in the Bac Kan province in northern Vietnam. The investigation indicates a relatively high snakebite incidence, which can partly be explained by a completely rural population working in an environment dominated by agriculture and outdoor activities. Another factor explaining the high incidence is this study's reliance on interviews rather than clinical data, thus incorporating snakebite cases not known to clinics. In Vietnam there are no snakebite data collected, neither on a local nor on any other administrative level, except unpublished data from a few hospitals and institutes.

There are clear indications that the snakebite problem in Vietnam is more serious than in many other Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam has a large rural population, limited medical resources at rural and district clinics and lack of antivenom treatment. Based on this pilot project there are a number of reasons to learn more about humans and snakebites in Vietnam, but also other countries in East and Southeast Asia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2011. Vol. 28, no 2, p. 123-134
Keywords [en]
snakebites, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, medical geography, rural health
National Category
Social Sciences Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-16942DOI: 10.1080/10225706.2011.623415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-16942DiVA, id: diva2:467893
Available from: 2011-12-20 Created: 2011-12-20 Last updated: 2012-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Sören

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