Planning your elective - Western Samoa
- By: Jo Bramall, Khalika Hasrat
The article was very helpful in discussing the type of medicine practiced in Samoa and the purpose of this response is not to rewrite the article, but merely to add to it an important health and safety issue. The article correctly highlights the number of stray dogs that wonder the streets, particularly at night, and more worryingly on route to the main hospital in Apia, however it makes no suggestion on how to avoid being bitten in the first place.
Whilst on my elective there recently a student was badly bitten by one of these stray dogs and according to the doctor who treated him, it could have easily been avoided through performing a few simple actions. Samoans are rarely bitten; if a dog were to approach them, as if to bite, they would simply bend down as if picking up a stone (although not actually doing so) and shout