Assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and practices among livestock farmers on Anthrax in Buremba sub - county, Kiruhura district
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Several anthrax outbreaks in animals and humans have been reported in Kiruhura district in the recent times, and a few sporadic cases in Buremba Sub County. These may be attributed to paucity of information on knowledge, attitudes and practices among livestock farmers regarding anthrax. This study was therefore conducted to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices among livestock farmers on Anthrax disease outbreaks. The study was aimed at assessing knowledge on anthrax, describing attitudes towards anthrax, and determining risk practices towards Anthrax disease among livestock farmers in Buremba sub-county, Kiruhura district A cross sectional study was conducted among heads of household, and veterinary workers of Buremba Sub-county in June and July, 2019. Semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires were used to collect data from households. The study showed that the overall level of knowledge on Anthrax in both humans and animals was 82%. This was found to be high due to increasing awareness campaigns by NGOs as well veterinary and human health departments at district level. Practices towards anthrax control and prevention were poor. Consumption of meat from infected carcasses was noted since the farmers found burying dead carcasses a big economic loss to them. Attitudes towards important practices in managing anthrax like vaccination of livestock were poor. Some livestock farmers had negative attitudes towards vaccination and cited financial difficulties, inaccessible veterinary workers and failure of vaccines. Respondents also noted that most outbreaks happen during the onset of the rainy seasons. Results revealed that all the respondents perceived anthrax as a deadly disease and nearly half, (45%) of the respondents perceived it as the most important disease in their area. Respondents also perceived herdsmen to be the most at-risk persons of contracting Anthrax (74.8%) and this is because these spend most of the day in contact with the livestock. 26 % of the interviewed respondents, had their animals (mostly cattle) suffer from anthrax with 9.6% of these reporting that a friend or family member also suffered from anthrax. The risk of acquiring anthrax in humans was significantly associated with having an animal infected (, P=0.001).Most of the livestock farmers were found very knowledgeable about anthrax and had a positive attitude towards taking up good practices in managing anthrax. Veterinary and medical workers should maintain and increase anthrax awareness. More trainings and demonstrations maybe done to show people good practices towards anthrax as well as strict implementation of annual anthrax livestock vaccination programs.