Participatory epidemiological survey of foot-and-mouth disease among some cattle diseases in some pastoral communities of Niger, north central, Nigeria
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is known to cause significant financial losses, making it a threat to the livelihood and food security. Disease surveillance in pastoral areas are often difficult because human populations are relatively small and highly mobile, and requires considerable flexibility and commitment. Participatory epidemiological approach was used to assess relative burden, seasonality and perceived risk factors of FMD among other important cattle diseases in cattle population of pastoral communities of North-central, Nigeria. Nine pastoral communities and three key informants from each community were purposively selected for the survey between January and December 2014. Participatory rural appraisal tools were used for participatory exercises. Kendall’s Coefficient of Concordance W statistics was used for statistical analyses. Mean proportional piles (relative burden) of FMD (Boru,Chabo) was 17.2%, and pastoralists’agreement on the piles was strong (W=0.6855) and statistically significant (P<0.001). Key informants’ perceived risk factors for FMD were: keeping healthy cattle with sick ones (17.2%), high cattle density (16.8%), grazing cattle in areas of FMD outbreaks (12.4%), long distance trekking (10.3%), giving out cattle as gift or payment for dowry (8.2%), and cattle rustling (4.9%). The key informants agreement on the risk factors was strong (W=0.8372) and statistically significant (p<0.01). FMD occurred in all seasons, but more in late rainy season (Damina) and less in late dry season (Rani). Agreement on FMD seasonal occurrence was strong (W=0.8719) and statistically significant (P<0.01). This survey revealed the relative burden and seasonal impacts of FMD in pastoral herds in North-central Nigeria. FMD surveillance, control and prevention programmes that take these factors into consideration will be beneficial to the livestock industry. The combined use of Participatory epidemiological techniques and clinical record of cases is essential for cost effective disease surveillance, reporting and control strategies in Nigeria.
Keywords: Burden, FMD, Fulani pastoralists, Participatory Epidemiology, season, Nigeria