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Open Access Research article

Farmers’ perception of impacts of bovine trypanosomosis and tsetse fly in selected districts in Baro-Akobo and Gojeb river basins, Southwestern Ethiopia

Zewdu Seyoum1*, Getachew Terefe2 and Hagos Ashenafi2

Author Affiliations

1 Unit of Paraclinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Gondar, P.O.Box:196, Gondar, Ethiopia

2 Department of Pathology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia

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BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:214  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-214

Published: 20 October 2013

Abstract

Background

Trypanosomosis, via causing anaemia, emaciation, production loss and death, is arguably the most important constraint to livestock development in Sub-Saharan countries, including Ethiopia and its impact in Baro-Akobo and Gojeb river basins (endemic areas for tsetse flies) is unknown. This study was carried out from November 2011 to April 2012 to assess farmers’ perception on the presence, impact, management and the need of intervention programs of bovine trypanosomosis and tsetse fly in selected districts located in Baro-Akobo and Gojeb river basins, Southwestern Ethiopia. A standardized questionnaire survey was employed to collect the relevant information from the farmers.

Results

The result of this study showed that 94.1% of the respondents considered bovine trypanosomosis as an economically important cattle disease which accounted for 64.6% of the total annual deaths in the year 2011/2012. Estimated mean annual financial loss via mortality due to trypanosomosis was reported to be 3501 Ethiopian Birr (US$200)/household. The reported trypanosomosis suggestive signs were consistent with published reports and farmers strongly associated the occurrence of the disease with biting flies (particularly, tsetse fly). Respondents also explained that the seasonality of the disease and its vectors, i.e. May and June are peak risk months of the year. Chemotherapy was reported the major method to combating the problem, mean frequency of treatment being 5.7 times per animal per year. Because of the economic burden of the disease, farmers expressed their strong interest and support for the establishment of intervention program in their area.

Conclusion

The study revealed that livestock keepers are familiar with bovine trypanosomosis and its vectors as well as its impacts. Thus, trypanosomosis and tsetse control strategies should be integrated with the local communities’ participation to minimize the impacts of the disease and its vectors in the area.

Keywords:
Baro-Akobo; Farmers’ perception; Gojeb; River basin; Trypanosomosis; Southwestern Ethiopia