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|Prevalence Survey of Arsenicosis in Kailali and Bardiya Districts of Nepal
Chhetri Khadka, MK
|Background: Arsenic has been known for years to be a very poisonous element and arsenicosis is one of the burning issues in Nepal today. In lowlands of Nepal, the Arsenic concentration in the pumped "drinking" water have shown to be of such a magnitude that the population in these areas, by switching from surface water to groundwater, can be said to have come from the frying-pan into the fire. This study, therefore, was conducted to find out the prevalence of arsenicosis and its association with other socio-economic factors among the risk population in the different communities of Kailali and Bardiya district. Methods: The study was conducted in Thapapur and Sadepani VDCs of Kailali district and Mohamadpur and Jamuni VDCs of Bardiya district. This comprehensive project adopted questionnaire survey and examination of skin laison by the experts using WHO flow chart algorithm as its major study methods. Literatures cited on different books, Journals, reports, dissertations and available on the electronic media were reviewed to gather additional and required information to support the primary data. Most of the data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social (SPSS) tool. Appropriate tests of different and multivariate exploratory analysis were carried out. Results: The impact of arsenic problem in study area is significant with the overall prevalence of arsenicosis as 2.12% in Kailali district and 2.66% in Bardiya district. Gender has apparent effect on the prevalence of arsenicosis indicating much higher symptoms among males than in females. The people from older age group are affected significantly to a far greater extent than people from younger age group and a virtually negligible prevalence among those less than 15 years old. The people from poor socioeconomic group are affected significantly to a far greater extent than people from non-poor socioeconomic group. Conclusions: Since major causes of arsenicosis problem are poverty, illiteracy and lack of mitigating and monitoring measures, arsenic mitigation programmes should target the arsenic exposed malnourished poor population as a priority. Keywords: arsenicosis; Bardiya; prevalence; Kailali; survey.
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