Exploring the willingness to adopt pen-side diagnostic tests to improve antimicrobial medicine use amongst Tanzanian livestock farmers

Vera Mkenda, Henry Buller, Ann Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article deals with the challenge of addressing antimicrobial resistance in resource-poor countries. It explores the possibilities of using rapid diagnostic tests to improve animal health management and treatment, particularly in situations where laboratory veterinary infrastructure is limited. Using data from a survey undertaken in 2018, three composite variables, i.e. perceived usefulness, compatibility with existing practices, and ease of use, derived from the Model of Technological Acceptance and Diffusion Innovation Theory are used to analyse the perceived characteristics and values of rapid diagnostic test devices for farmers. Results suggest smallholder farmers’ willingness to adopt and use the tests provided they are affordable, easy to use and suitable to their local conditions – a common referential being mobile phones. While such tests have the potential to improve how antibiotics are used in smallholder farms, they are more likely to instigate more general improvements in how treatment-decisions are made without necessarily reducing unnecessary antimicrobial use. The adoption may also imply a diminishing need for traditional veterinary services, thus making farmers more self-sufficient in animal health care. Farmers also seem to be more concerned by false negatives leading to sick animals missing vital treatment than by false positive where drugs will be administered to healthy animals. Overall promoting rapid diagnostic test technologies inevitably calls for new controls and regulations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • smallholder farmers
  • rapid diagnostic tests
  • technology adoption
  • veterinary services
  • antibiotics use
  • Tanzania

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