Assessment of knowledge, attitudes and practices of livestock farmers regarding Rift Valley Fever in Moyo District-Uganda
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Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic mosquito-borne disease affecting both livestock (cattle, goat, sheep and camel) and humans caused by Rift valley fever virus of genus phlebovirus in the family phenuviridae. It’s a serious public health concern in Middle East, Africa and potential Global Health threat. Rift valley infection is also a disease listed by world organization for animal health (OIE) and World health organization(WHO) diseases for research (Clark et al., 2018). Moyo district veterinary sector reported 40.5% sero-prevalence of RVF in cattle in the month of February, 2021 (Un-published Moyo district quarterly veterinary report, 2021). A cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted to asses Knowledge, attitude and practices among livestock farmers in Moyo district regarding RVF using interview questionnaire to collect data on demographic characteristics, knowledge on causes, signs and symptoms, transmission and control/prevention of RVF in humans and animals. In this study, 348 livestock farmers were involved. Less than half (46.6%) of the livestock farmers were aware of RVF and only 10.6% of them had knowledge on clinical signs of RVF in humans. A good number (40.2%) of the livestock farmers reported cases of abortion in their herds but only 14% of them knew that RVF causes abortion in pregnant animals. Very few livestock farmers (17.1%) knew mosquitoes as vector for transmission of RVF. Less than half (47.1%) of livestock farmers agreed that RFV is preventable. Overall average positive attitude towards RVF control and prevention among livestock farmers was good (53.0%). Very few (2.62%) of the farmers used protective gears in handling dead carcass and aborted fetuses. Most of the livestock farmers (77.06%), sought medical care from Health facilities and 75.6% reported sick animals to veterinary officers. This study found out that there is low level of knowledge among livestock farmers in Moyo district regarding RVF causes, signs and symptoms, control and prevention. There is need to raise the level of awareness (knowledge) among livestock farmers in Moyo district regarding RVF. Massive awareness could be conducted through Radio messages, posters and sensitization meetings. Focus should be on providing information to communities on RVF virus transmission, signs and symptoms of RVF in humans and animals, control and prevention measures.