Prevalence and associated factors with farmers’ use of self prescribed antibiotics in livestock, Nakaseke district, Uganda
Lunkuse, Stella Maris
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: Antibiotic abuse in livestock is prevalent in most low-income countries. However, the extent to which it contributes to antibiotic resistance has not been quantified. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the use of antibiotics without prescription is one of the practices responsible for misuse of antibiotics in livestock. Although many studies have been done on self-medication in human, little has been done in animal husbandry. This study assessed the use of antibiotics in Nakaseke district with the aim of determining prevalence and factors associated with use of antibiotics without prescription in livestock. Methods: The study used a cross sectional study design, with both quantitative and qualitative data. An Open Data Kit was used to collect the quantitative data from 440 participants and 389 participants were included for analysis after data cleaning. Data was collected on demographic characteristics of the study participants, reasons for self-prescription and knowledge of good veterinary practices in regard to antibiotics. Data was exported to and analyzed using STATA version 14. Modified poisson regression was used to estimate the prevalence ratios and associated factors with use of antibiotics without prescription at 95% interval. The qualitative data was collected on antibiotic use and practices and reasons for self-prescription, using three focus group discussion with livestock farmers. Qualitative data was analyzed using manual content analysis with deductive coding. Results: The prevalence of self-prescription in the last two months among livestock farmers was 90% (351/ 389). The high prevalence of self-prescription was also illustrated in the focus group discussion where farmers reported that it was inevitable not to treat animals without consulting a veterinary professional. They further noted that the frequency of use was dependent on the season with more use seen during the rainy season especially among cattle when the milk production is also highest with high incidences of mastitis. The farmers used prior knowledge and experiences to estimate the dose for the animals. Cost saving, emergency situations, unavailability of veterinary extension staff and lack of trust in the veterinary professionals were the reasons given by farmers for self-prescription among farmers in Nakaseke district. Only one factor animal type kept was statistically associated with self-prescription of antibiotics among livestock farmers in Nakaseke. Farmers who kept poultry were 13% less likely to use antibiotics without prescription (aPR 0.87;95%: 0.78-0.97) compared to farmers who kept other livestock. Conclusion: The study revealed high prevalence of self-prescription among livestock farmers in Nakaseke district. There are consequences of self-prescription of these antibiotics which could eventually lead to antibiotic resistance which is now a public health threat. Recommendation: Farmers need to be engaged through their farmer groups and associations and sensitized on the risks of using antibiotics without prescription on their livestock. The Production Department together with the District Service Commission of Nakaseke should plan to deploy more veterinary extension staff at the parish level in order to fill the gap of inadequate veterinary services.