A study of dog bites among children in the rural area of Goa, India
Objective: 1. To study the prevalence of dog bites in children; 2. To study knowledge and practices followed regarding prevention and control of rabies among caretakers.
Materials and Methods: Study Design: Cross sectional study; Study Participants: Children below 16 years of age; Study Instrument: A predesigned questionnaire was used to ask questions to parents or caretakers of children.
Ethical Considerations: Ethical approval was obtained from Institutional Ethics Committee.
Statistical Analysis: Data was entered in excel and analysed using SPSS version 22. Frequencies, X 2 tests and odds ratios were calculated.
Results: The incidence of dog bites in children was 3.36 %. Most of the bites were in children between 6 – 10 years (2.4%) and among males (2.1%). Almost 55.6 % of the bites were unprovoked. Most common site was lower limbs (66.7%). 66.6% of the victims received anti rabies vaccine (ARV). Out of those who received ARV, only 66.7% received all doses completely. Knowledge of rabies and ARV was present in 83% and 74% of the parents respectively.
Conclusion: Most of the bites happen in and around the house, which can be easily prevented. Even though free health services are so easily accessible, services are not availed. Health education regarding prevention of dog bites, correct methods of local bite management and compliance of ARV treatment is needed.
Keywords: Dog bites, Children, Rural, Goa.