Impact of HIV/AIDS on the livestock-producing communities of Uganda: case studies of Moyo and Kashumba Subcounties
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This study on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the livestock-producing communities of Uganda was carried out in Kashumba and Moyo sub counties. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaire administration, focus group discussion which was guided by use of focus group check list, and others were use of observation guides for social phenomena and review of secondary data. The main objective of this study was to determine the impact of HIV/AIDS on the livestock producing communities in Uganda. The study showed that there was significant reduction in the availability of labour for grazing and watering for livestock in both Moyo (χ2=5.200, p=0.023) and Kashumba (χ2=13.958, p= 0.001); There was significant shift in decision making and implementation from household heads who have died to surviving household members as for livestock grazing and sale of livestock products, Moyo (p= 0.019), (p=0.017), Kashumba (p= 0.009) and (p=0.041). The study found out that there was significant reduction in grazing and watering time for livestock activities, Moyo (p=0.005), Kashumba (p=0.003). It was observed that Animal source foods generally reduced in the households affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There was considerable loss of self sufficiency in food security. The study documented livestock husbandry practices that could aggravate the effects of HIV/AIDS namely, rigours of grazing leading to exhaustion, spraying leading to inhalation of the acaricide fumes that are toxic to the body, and consumption of drug residues in livestock products leading to drug resistance against some of the common antibiotics like penicillins and tetracyclines. The study also highlighted the role of livestock which included main source of income and employment. The study recommended that livestock sector should plan ahead and work towards AIDS–competent communities in Uganda. This will enhance community baseline assessment, community action strategies, and integrated plan for informing community timely and effectively. Social cohesion should be strengthened, nutritional education should be directed to vulnerable groups and masses extensively sensitized on drug withdrawal periods and labour saving practices.