Prevalence of Arsenicosis in Terai, Nepal|
Maharjan, Makhan; Shrestha, Roshan R.; Ahmad, Sk. Akhtar; Watanabe, Chiho & Ohtsuka, Ryutaro
This paper summarizes the findings of surveys on arsenicosis cases conducted during 2001-2004 in terai, Nepal, by governmental and non-governmental organizations in their respective project areas and by some national and international institutes. Studies were conducted in six arsenic-contaminated districts of terai, namely Nawalparasi, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Rupandehi, and Kapilvastu. In these districts, arsenic contamination in tubewells varied from 2.1% to 25.7%. The prevalence of arsenicosis was, on average, 2.2% and varied from 0.7% in Kapilavastu district to 3.6% in Nawalparasi district. In the community-based study, the highest prevalence (18.6%) of arsenicosis was found in Patkhouli village of Nawalparasi, where 95.8% of tubewells were contaminated with arsenic. The prevalence of arsenicosis was higher in older age-groups (>50 years) of both the sexes. Males suffered more from arsenicosis than females (odds ratio: 2.50, 95% confidence interval 1.80-3.47). Skin manifestations, such as melanosis and keratosis, were the common symptoms of arsenicosis. Most patients were identified in the early or mild stage of the disease. They are expected to recover if further exposure to arsenic could be avoided by providing arsenic-safe drinking-water through intervention measures.
Arsenic; Arsenic contamination; Skin lesions; Melanosis; Keratosis; Arsenicosis; Water supply; Prevalence; Nepal