Epidemiological techniques to establish poultry disease
Abstract: The productivity and health status of household poultry are under continuous challenges from endemic, emerging and re-emerging diseases in many developing countries.
By: I.W. Musa, M. Ndahi, E.G. Pam, A. Okike, P.C. Cyrile , H. Saskia and C. Jost
A key success to efficient rural poultry disease control is to harness both current disease status and farmer’s knowledge. Participatory disease surveillance is a re-emerging epidemiology concept that is practically based and gives local farmers a greater role in shaping identified health and production programmes.
The concept involves open communication and transfer of knowledge by applying a toolkit of methods guided by some key concepts and attitudes to establish current health and production status and to identify best policy intervention strategies. Surveys from a total of 90 villages with a focus group discussion involving at least 15 participants, were conducted.
The profiling tools used in the study included relative incidence scoring, disease impact matrix scoring and visualisation techniques while probing was used to check responses. Matrix scoring indicated Newcastle disease (ND) as the most important disease of poultry. ND, ectoparasitism and fowl pox were the most prevalent poultry diseases. Farmers in this region possess rich indigenous veterinary knowledge but lack access to modern veterinary facilities.
The economic impacts of these poultry diseases are significantly high. Participatory disease surveillance has made tremendous contributions towards controlling livestock diseases and is now a global concept that needs to be fully adapted in Nigeria and other developing countries. This paper reviews the principal methodology of participatory epidemiology and highlights feedbacks from a field research in the Jos Plateau, Nigeria.
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