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Level of knowledge of small-scale milk producers on bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) in selected parts of Chongwe district
Research (Published online: 25-12-2017)
13. Level of knowledge of small-scale milk producers on bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) in selected parts of Chongwe district - Emmanuel ChilesheInternational Journal of One Health, 3: 83-86
Aim: This study was intended to establish the level of knowledge of small-scale milk producers on bovine tuberculosis (BTB), one of the neglected zoonotic diseases.
Materials and Methods: In this study, a descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used. A total of 369 small-scale milk producers were interviewed using a pretested interviewer questionnaire. Using a computer, data obtained from the operator-administered questionnaires were entered in Epidata® and exported to Stata 10.0® for analysis with which descriptive statistics were generated for analysis. The level of knowledge on BTB for both male and female small-scale milk producers was analyzed in relation to membership to cooperative, frequency of TB tests in cattle, availability of extension services, and milk handling and utilization practices. The relationships between the different hypothesized confounders and the binary outcome (BTB testing) were investigated with Pearson’s Chi-squared test for association. Logistic regression model describing the BTB cattle testing among the farmers controlling for hypothesized confounders was finalized using likelihood ratio testing to screen the significance of posited confounders in the model. To ensure validity and eliminate bias of data, the interviews were limited to three interviewers. The questionnaires were pre-tested for clarity as well as to avoid confounding questions.
Results: Majority (95%) of the small-scale milk producers across the study had heard about BTB. The proportion of those who knew that it is transmittable to humans was low (43.8%). The proportion of those who knew its mode of transmission to humans was also low (32.4%). However, it was high in milk producers belonging to dairy cooperatives followed by producers in livestock cooperatives. It was noted that a small proportion of small-scale milk producers ensured that their cattle were tested for BTB. Logistic regression showed that there was 73 times likelihood that small-scale milk producers belonging to dairy cooperatives will have their cattle tested for BTB.
Conclusion: The study established a low level of knowledge on BTB transmission and prevention. It also concluded that few cattle in the small-scale milk production sector get tested for BTB and that the level of knowledge of the milk producers on BTB, in this sector, is associated with this.
Keywords: bovine tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, veterinary extension.