Prevalence and associated risk factors of ophthalmic problems of working donkeys (Equus asinus) in Mekelle, Northern Ethiopia
A cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2017 to March 2018 aimed at determining the prevalence and associated risk factors of ophthalmic problems of working donkeys in Mekelle, Northern Ethiopia. Study animals were selected by random sampling method to obtain the primary data in the form of direct physical examination and history was obtained from the owner of each examined donkey at the same time. Descriptive statistics was employed to summarize the data and uni-variant logistic regression was used to quantify the degree of association between ophthalmic problems and identified risk factors. Accordingly, out of the total 384 examined, 181 were found to be positive for ophthalmic problems with an overall prevalence of 47.14%. In this study, a statistical significant difference (P<0.05) were found among age groups and sexes. Female donkeys (63.01%) were 2.08 (OR=2.08; 95% CI: 1.105, 3.942) times more likely to have ophthalmic problems compared to male donkeys (44.97%). Donkeys with age category of >10 years (62.07%) and 6-10 years (49.6%) were 3.34 (OR=3.34; 95% CI: 2.002, 5.578) and 2.01 (OR=2.01; 95% CI: 1.225, 3.296) times more likely to have ophthalmic problems as compared to the age group of <6 years (32.87%) old, respectively. Ophthalmic problems are relatively higher in the right eye (41.44%) than the left (39.78%). Higher percentages were observed due to conjuctival defect (29.28%), followed by general lesion of eyelid (26.52%) and corneal defects (13.26%). The possible causes were diseases (62.98%) and mechanical damages (37.02%). In conclusion, the prevalence of ophthalmic problems in the study area is very high. Therefore, better management practices and awareness creation among donkey owners is highly recommended.
Keywords: Mekelle; Ophthalmic problems; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Working Donkeys
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