Knowledge, perceptions and practices regarding brucellosis in pastoral communities of Kagera Region, Tanzania
A cross-sectional study was conducted in June 2017 to assess the knowledge, perception and practices of brucellosis by pastoralists of Kagera ecosystem, Tanzania using qualitative methods. Five focus group discussions of six participants were conducted with livestock farmers, administration leaders, religious representatives and youth. In addition, discussions with three key informants were conducted, involving officials of livestock, wildlife and public health department in each district. Data were analyzed using content analysis with inductive and deductive methods. This study revealed low knowledge regarding brucellosis by interviewees. Although participants recognized brucellosis as a zoonotic disease, they seemed to consider it of less importance. In addition, participants had low knowledge on causes, symptoms and mode of transmission of this disease. However, they perceived the interactions between humans, livestock and wildlife together with the neighborhood with other countries to be potential risks for introduction of brucellosis in their communities. Moreover, their habit of drinking unpasteurized milk, the lack of protective gears assisting animals giving birth and poor vaccination program need to be improved by community health education. A coordinated one Health approach is needed and further studies are suggested to reveal the status of brucellosis in Kagera ecosystem to guide its control and prevention.
Key words: Knowledge, practices, brucellosis, pastoral communities, Kagera, Tanzania.