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Title: Improved targeting and appropriate use of trypanocidal drugs for the control of African bovine trypanosomiasis in tsetse endemic areas of western and coastal Kenya within the context of primary veterinary care
Author: Machila-Eisler, Noreen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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The thesis examines smallholder livestock owners' perceptions of bovine trypanosomiasis and methods used for controlling it, as well as their veterinary treatment-seeking patterns and access to agricultural and veterinary information in tsetse endemic areas of Busia District, western Kenya and Kwale District, coastal Kenya. The thesis also describes a controlled communication intervention trial in these two study sites that was conducted by disseminating bovine trypanosomiasis information developed in the medium of leaflets and posters. The impact of these extension interventions was assessed in a follow-up household- and primary school-based survey on smallholder farmers' and children's understanding of trypanosomiasis identification and control. The studies described employed qualitative (participatory research appraisal) and quantitative (structured questionnaires) survey methods of data collection. The studies showed that approximately 15% of disease episodes in cattle were perceived by the farmers to be trypanosomiasis; however, the farmers' had difficulties in making diagnoses in that over half of the diagnoses were inconsistent with the clinical signs that they described. Trypanosomiasis knowledge appeared to be associated with location of farmers; respondents in Busia District were significantly more likely to have trypanosomiasis knowledge than those in Kwale District (OR: 6.58, 95% CI: 2.46-17.65). Drugs were generally obtained from agro-veterinary shops, and the farmers themselves administered more than half of these. One third of drug treatments given to sick cattle were trypanocides, but over half of these trypanocidal treatments were given to cattle believed to have diseases other than trypanosomiasis. Analyses of cattle owners' veterinary treatment-seeking patterns showed that sick cattle in Busia District were less likely to be treated than those in Kwale District. There was no significant association between use of trypanocides and any household social characteristics, but an association was observed between use of trypanocides and the biological nature of the disease. Evaluation of the smallholder farmers' information networks revealed that radio, community leaders' meetings and school children were the most reliable sources of agricultural knowledge. With respect to the communication intervention, the majority of the householder recipients of the extension materials rated the trypanosomiasis messages as being useful, and 54% of them indicated that the information on trypanosomiasis contained within the extension materials was new to them. Mean (2.0) trypanosomiasis signs knowledge score obtained by the householders exposed to the extension materials (median: 2, range: 0-6) was higher than that obtained by those not exposed to them (mean: 1.2, median: 1, range: 0-4), Mann-Whitney U = 5175.5, p < 0.001; similarly, farmers' exposure to extension materials resulted in higher trypanocidal drug knowledge scores (mean: 0.6, median: 0, range: 0-3) than non-exposure (mean: 0.2, median: 0, range: 0-3), Mann-Whitney U = 5902.0, p < 0.001. School children's pre-communication intervention trypanosomiasis signs knowledge was much lower (mean: 2.5, median: 3, range: 0-6) than that observed during the postcommunication intervention survey (mean: 5.1, median: 5, range: 0-8), Z = 16.23, p < 0.001. More trypanocides were mentioned by school children during the post-intervention questionnaire survey (mean: 4.6, median: 5, range: 0-6) compared to those known during the pre-intervention survey (mean: 1.0, median: 0, range: 0-6), Z= 17.12, p < 0.001. Improvement of farm-based trypanosomiasis control by poor livestock keepers can be achieved through provision of veterinary extension materials. Dissemination of such information through primary schools was seen to be an effective channel, as it has the advantage of reaching many households; this was observed by the frequency with which school children (33%) were cited by the householders as a source of the extension materials produced. Moreover, illiterate farmers can benefit from the children's explanation of the contents of the extension materials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available