Venomous bites and stings in Papua New Guinea
A treatment guide for health workers and doctors

To coincide with the inaugural Snakebite Management Course in 2004, the course organizers, David Williams and Dr Simon Jensen edited and produced a 200 page course handbook ‘Clinical management of snakebite in Papua New Guinea’ which was produced in a print-run of 100 copies. The aim of this handbook was to provide course participants with a comprehensive resource to take back to their health facilities and use as a reference when dealing with cases of snakebite.

VBS PNG Cover   Sample page

In 2005 a major revision and rewrite of this 2004 Snakebite Management Course Handbook resulted in the publication of ‘Venomous bites and stings in Papua New Guinea: A guide to treatment for health workers and doctors’ in a print run of 2,000 copies at a cost of K47,125.00. The publication was funded by donations from the AVRU, Oil Search Limited, CSL Limited and Melbourne’s St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Venomous bites and stings in Papua New Guinea’ was edited by David Williams in collaboration with Drs Simon Jensen, Bill Nimorakiotakis and Ken Winkel. The book comprises 20 chapters, spread over 416 A5 pages, including 48 pages of colour photographs. The individual chapters follow the same format as the curriculum of the Snakebite Management Course, dealing with all aspects of snakebite, marine envenomation, insect and arthropod bites and stings. A number of chapters were contributed by internationally recognised experts in snakebite treatment including Dr Bart Currie (Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin) and Professor David A Warrell (Centre for Tropical Medicine, Oxford University, UK).

A review published in the Journal, Emergency Medicine Australasia says:

“The emphasis is on first-aid and care in the absence of laboratory resources and the sophisticated technologies of hospital and intensive care unit. Major points, myths and traps are highlighted, and there is a ‘tool-box’ utility about the format of what to do. These chapters will have wide practical application… Australia could well use such a book for its own envenomation challenges, even though they impact on vastly fewer people."
Emerg. Med. Austr. (2006) 18:307

Launched by the Secretary for Health, Dr Nicholas Mann at the UPNG SMHS on 20 October, 2005, 1,000 copies of the book were donated to the Department of Health to enable distribution of every health centre in Papua New Guinea. The Health Service Support Program agreed to distribute the books in conjunction with delivery of Health Centre Supply Kits. A further 500 copies of the book are being distributed to participants at Snakebite Management Courses, and 500 copies are being sold to help support the current program of snakebite research in PNG. A second edition of the book is being planned for 2008.

Copies of Venomous bites and stings in Papua New Guinea are available from the University of Melbourne Bookshop for A$77.00 plus postage/handling.


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