Animal health constraints perceived to be important in Kilosa and Gairo Districts, Morogoro, Tanzania: Implications on disease prevention and control
A study was carried out in Kilosa and Gairo districts to identify and characterize animal health constraints as perceived by stakeholders in the beef and milk value chains. A combination of methods was used to collect data, namely, mapping of value chain actors and baseline survey. The baseline survey involved 220 households drawn from 33 villages and 22 wards. Using a structured questionnaire, households were visited to assess awareness and experience of livestock diseases based on observation of clinical cases prevalent in cattle herds. Prevalent diseases as reported by the respondents were East Coast fever (ECF; 88.1%), anaplasmosis (78.0%), heartwater (75.8%) and babesiosis (64.0%). Other animal health problems reported were contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP; 92.6%), calf diarrhoeas (79.9%), trypanosomosis (66.7%), brucellosis (65.3%) and mastitis (60.1%). Further inquiry revealed that health problems perceived to be the most important, in declining order, were: ECF, trypanosomosis, anaplasmosis, heartwater, calf diarrhoea, brucellosis and babesiosis. With regard to routine disease control activities, all respondents reported to apply acaricides to control ticks while 90% reported deworming their animals regularly. Although acaricide application was reported to be carried out, tick-borne diseases (TBDs) were still prevalent in the study area. These finding suggest that the current control measures against infectious diseases are ineffective. There is, therefore, a need to have in-depth evaluation of existing disease prevention and control options so that corrective measures can be applied to reverse the situation, which will ensure reduction of morbidities and mortalities associated with infectious diseases. This will contribute to improved livelihoods of pastoral and agro-pastoral farmers predominant in Kilosa and Gairo districts.
Key words: disease control, tick-borne disease, pastoral, agro-pastoral, Kilosa and Gairo districts
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