Influence of Traditional Medicine (Tandok and Tawak)
on Marinduquenos’ Knowledge, Attitudes and
Practices on Handling Animal Bites

 Benjamin O. Sosa III

College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila,
Ermita, Manila 1000, Philippines

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Tandok (removal of venom, rabies and tetanus from a wound by using an animal horn) and Tawak (direct suction by the mouth of a traditional practitioner) are the most prevalent non-medical alternatives in Marinduque that deal with wounds caused by animal bites. In every ten (10) people bitten, six (6) would opt for non-medical alternatives rather than consulting a medical facility for vaccines. The cultures of Tandok and Tawak greatly affect the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the people on how to properly handle animal bites. Thus, this cross-sectional study aimed to determine the extent of influence these cultures have on the people’s KAP. Also, this study aimed to correlate the people’s theoretical awareness on handling animal bites to actual practice using a two-tailed t-test. Lastly, the study determined the main reasons why people still patronage these traditional healers. A total of 420 respondents (three persons per village) from 140 randomly selected villages were interviewed. The respondents were chosen through simple random sampling with replacement. Results showed that people in municipalities with well-known traditional practitioners (mananandok or mananawak) prefer their services than that of medical facilities. Further, theoretical knowledge of handling animal bites does not translate to actual practice. Finally, the main reasons why people still patronage Tandok or Tawak are (1) expensive cost of vaccines (2) belief of the people that tandok and tawak have the same efficacy and (3) the distance of the hospital.



Rabies is viral disease that is caused by bites from rabid animals affected by it (Yousaf et al. 2010). The rabies virus can also be transmitted when the saliva of affected animals come in contact with the openings on the skin of other animals and humans. The animals that are usual carriers of this virus are: dogs, cats, raccoons, bats, and monkeys (Yousaf et al. 2010). This virus causes severe encephalitis that results in mortality in its victims (World Health Organization 2005). In addition, the usual symptoms that accompany rabies infection are the following: drooling, convulsions, exaggerated sensation on the bite site, muscle spasms, muscle tingles, restlessness, difficulty in swallowing, hydrophobia and . . . . . read more



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