Awareness and attitude toward Zoonoses with particular reference to anthrax among cattle owners in selected rural communities of Zimbabwe
Chikerema, S. M
Pfukenyi, D. M
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We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess cattle owners’ awareness, perceptions, and attitudes toward zoonoses, with particular emphasis regarding anthrax. Data on awareness of zoonoses, clinical signs of anthrax in animals and human, its routes of transmission and methods of prevention, the families’ consumption habits of anthrax-infected carcasses, and other family activities that increase exposure to anthrax were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. A total of 41.4% (135/326) of the farmers were from high-anthrax-risk districts, whereas 28.5% and 30.1% were from medium- and low-risk districts, respectively. Overall, the level of awareness amongst the farmers for the named zoonoses were rabies (88.7%), anthrax (71.5%), and brucellosis (20.9%). Except for anthrax, awareness of other zoonoses did not differ significantly ( p > 0.05) among the district categories. Farmers from anthrax high-risk districts were significantly more aware of anthrax compared to those from moderate- ( p = 0.000) and low- ( p = 0.000) risk districts. All of the farmers were aware that anthrax occurs in cattle, and 73% indicated the presence of unclotting blood oozing from natural orifices as a consistent finding in cattle that died of anthrax, whereas 86.7% of them indicated the presence of skin lesions as the most common sign of the disease in humans. The good efficacy of human anthrax treatment (58.3%), slaughter of moribund cattle and selling of meat from cattle found dead to unsuspecting consumers (59.8%), reluctance to lose animals (47.9%), and forgetting about anthrax (41.1%) were cited as the major reasons for consuming anthrax-infected carcasses. Given that 75.2% of cattle owners indicated that they would not consume meat from cattle found dead, because they were discouraged by veterinary authorities, introducing meat inspection services is likely to have a positive impact in preventing human anthrax outbreaks in Zimbabwe.
Additional Citation InformationChikerema, S. M., Matope, G. and Pfukenyi, D.M. 2013. Awareness and attitude toward Zoonoses with particular reference to anthrax among cattle owners in selected rural communities of Zimbabwe, Vector-borne and Zoonotic diseases, 13(4), 243 - 249.
SponsorNorwegian Council for Higher Education (NUFU)
Mary Ann Liebert