Herdsmen and Livestock Farmersâ€™ Perception, Attitudes and Risk Factors towards Zoonotic Diseases in Awka North and South Local Government Areas, Southeastern Nigeria
A cross-sectional survey utilizing semi-structured questionnaires was used to study the herdsmen and livestock farmersâ€™ perception, attitudes and risk factors towards zoonotic diseases in Awka North and South Local Government Area. Data obtained were analyzed using chi-square on SPSS (Version 15.0) at a significance level of p < 0.05 to determine possible associations between variables and perceptions of zoonotic diseases. Out of the 384 respondents, 214 (55.7%) had heard about zoonotic diseases. Avian influenza (95.3%), rabies (90.9%) and bovine tuberculosis (64.3%) were perceived by the respondents to be zoonotic. Viruses (82.3%), punishment from gods (72.4%) and bacteria (52.1%) were also perceived by the respondents as major causes of zoonotic diseases, whereas 62% were of the view that zoonotic diseases are of no consequence. Only 26.3% (101) had overall knowledge of zoonotic diseases. Slaughtering of sick animals, drinking of raw milk, skin to skin contact with animals, contact with animalsâ€™ placenta, handling of animal with open wounds/cuts and keeping of pets were indicted as attitudes and risk factors of zoonotic diseases amongst the respondents. Significant associations (p < 0.05) were found between perceptions/awareness of zoonotic diseases and age, educational status and location. In conclusion, the herdsmen and livestock farmersâ€™ awareness/perception of zoonotic diseases is abysmally poor in the study area, thus public education on zoonotic diseases is therefore hugely recommended.
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