Knowledge of Bovine Tuberculosis, Cattle Husbandry and Dairy Practices amongst Pastoralists and Small-Scale Dairy Farmers in Cameroon

Robert F Kelly, Saidou M Hamman, Kenton L Morgan, Egbe F Nkongho, Victor Ngu Ngwa, Vincent Tanya, Walters N Andu, Melissa Sander, Lucy Ndip, Ian G Handel, Stella Mazeri, Adrian Muwonge, Mark Bronsvoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and zoonotic tuberculosis (zTB) has relied upon surveillance and slaughter of infected cattle, milk pasteurisation and public health education. In Cameroon, like many other sub-Saharan African countries, there is limited understanding of current cattle husbandry or milk processing practices or livestock keepers awareness of bTB. This paper describes husbandry and milk processing practices within different Cameroonian cattle keeping communities and bTB awareness in comparison to other infectious diseases.

STUDY DESIGN: A population based cross-sectional sample of herdsmen and a questionnaire were used to gather data from pastoralists and dairy farmers in the North West Region and Vina Division of Cameroon.

RESULTS: Pastoralists were predominately male Fulanis who had kept cattle for over a decade. Dairy farmers were non-Fulani and nearly half were female. Pastoralists went on transhumance with their cattle and came into contact with other herds and potential wildlife reservoirs of bTB. Dairy farmers housed their cattle and had little contact with other herds or wildlife. Pastoralists were aware of bTB and other infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and fasciolosis. These pastoralists were also able to identify clinical signs of these diseases. A similar proportion of dairy farmers were aware of bTB but fewer were aware of foot-and-mouth and fasciolosis. In general, dairy farmers were unable to identify any clinical signs for any of these diseases. Importantly most pastoralists and dairy farmers were unaware that bTB could be transmitted to people by consuming milk.

CONCLUSIONS: Current cattle husbandry practices make the control of bTB in cattle challenging especially in mobile pastoralist herds. Routine test and slaughter control in dairy herds would be tractable but would have profound impact on dairy farmer livelihoods. Prevention of transmission in milk offers the best approach for human risk mitigation in Cameroon but requires strategies that improved risk awareness amongst producers and consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0146538
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016

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