Prevalence and socio-economic effect of Bovine African Trypanosomosis in agro pastoral communities around Murchison Falls National Park
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A study was done to determine the knowledge, attitude and practices of farmers on the control of the Bovine Trypanosomosis (BT), determine the prevalence, risk factors and species of trypanosomes associated with the disease around Murchision Falls National Park (MFNP) Buliisa District. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used. The qualitative approaches included focus group discussions, key informant interviews, while the quantitative approach included administration of structured questionnaire to farmers and collection of blood from cattle for determination of trypanosome prevalence and the infective trypanosome species. A Chi-square test was used across sub-counties to identify both the most significant positive and negative aspects of knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward bovine trypanosomosis control. The same test was also used to determine the association between trypanosome infection rates and the risk factor variables. The majority of the farmers knew that grazing cattle near national parks was a cause of BT in their cattle herds and spraying of cattle with insecticide would control tsetse flies. The farmers’ knowledge on BT transmission routes and clinical signs was poor. Farmers self-treated cattle using curative trypanocide based on observed clinical signs because there were no veterinary and diagnostic service. A few farmers (15.9%) practiced prophylactic trypanocide treatment. Very few farmers (7/6%) used indigenous herbs for treatment of BT. There was a high prevalence (29.4%) of trypanosome infection in cattle. T. vivax was the predominant trypanosome species in the area. The mean annual economic cost per household due to trypanosomosis was found to be USD 693 of which 83% was due to mortality loss. Prophylactic treatment of cattle using Samorin® costing USD 110 annually could significantly reduce cattle mortality due to BT with a net return on investment of USD 465 annually per herd. From the above finding, there was a need to carry out sensitization of the farmers about the epidemiology, clinical signs and prophylactic control of BT. Veterinary extension and diagnostic services to facilitate the control of BT should be provided. Prophylactic treatment against BAT using Samorin® should be done three times a year. This should be coupled with community participation in strategic restricted spraying of cattle with deltamethrin products to control both tsetse flies and ticks. More studies should be done to determine temporal and spatial dynamics of tsetse flies in the area.