Brucellosis in small ruminants : an investigation of knowledge, attitude and practices in peri-urban farming around the region of Dushanbe, Tajikistan

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Clinical Sciences

Author: Cecilia Grahn; [2013]

Keywords: Brucellosis; Knowledge; Attitude; Practices; KAP;

Abstract: Landlocked Tajikistan is situated in Central Asia and is not only the smallest republic of Central Asia, but it is also one of the most mountainous with some of Central Asia’s highest peaks. Tajikistan is currently and historically the most financially disadvantaged country within Soviet Union/Russian territories. Agriculture is the main occupation for more than half of the country’s population. Unfortunately, however, only 7% of Tajikistan is arable land and the agriculture productivity is low. Approximately 80% of the households in Tajikistan own livestock, most commonly sheep or goats and smaller numbers of cattle. Hence, livestock is an integral component of Tajik agriculture and a vital part of the livelihood of the people. Concurrent with the country’s independence from the Soviet Union, there was a serious degeneration in disease control programs and the productivity of livestock in Tajikistan remains low due to poor reproduction rates and uncontrolled breeding, poor utilization of grazing land and high mortalities in livestock owing to diseases. Brucellosis is a zoonosis, and is therefore naturally transmitted between humans and other vertebrates. With the continuous and inevitable interaction of mankind and animals, the existence of brucellosis – that is endemic in Tajikistan – provides a genuine hazard to both human and livestock health; this is seen mainly in urban and peri-urban areas where humans and animals live closer together. The main reservoirs for human cases of brucellosis are small ruminants, and because of the absence of a pragmatic method to protect humans from such infected animals, the goal must therefore be to control the disease in the small ruminant population. The aims of current study were to investigate the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding brucellosis among smallholders and to identify possible risk factors. When interpreting the results, it is clear that there is a widespread lack of adequate knowledge among the participating smallholders, followed by the attitude and practices acted upon this fallible awareness. A better education of farmers is needed so they can protect themselves from the exposure as well as reduce the risk of facilitating the transmission and spread of brucellosis.

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