Determination of Serological Prevalence and Factors Contributing To Occurrence of Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks for Improved Control in Eastern Kenya

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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
A cross-sectional survey was conducted to determine the farmers and veterinary service providers as well as factors that continue to trigger Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks in Eastern Kenya. Questionnaires were administered to animal health service providers and livestock farmers. A total of ninety one animal health service providers and one hundred and six livestock farmers were interviewed. Livestock farmers ranked diseases as their greatest constraint followed by unavailability of feeds and high cost of inputs. Out of 91 service providers interviewed, 85/91 (93%) reported East Coast Fever as most commonly treated followed by Anaplasmosis 82/91 (90%), Mastitis 74/91 (81 %), Pneumonia 73/91 (80%) and Foot and Mouth Disease 31191 (34%). Eighty six (95%) animal health service providers had handled cases of FMD and 1011106 (95%) of the farmers had encountered FMD in their farms. All the farmers who had an experience with the disease reported that it affected cattle while 111101 (11 %), 8/101 (8%) and 111 0 1 (1 %) reported that it also affected goats, sheep and pigs respectively. Farmers in Marima area (Tharaka -Nithi County) reported that FMD is more severe among the adults of exotic cattle breeds than in young ones. In addition, 4311 06 (41 %) reported that the disease outbreaks lead to mortalities. The clinical manifestation described by farmers was hyp~rsalivation 8211 01 (81 %), mouth and feet lacerations 8211 0 1 (81 %), inappetance 7211 01 (71 %), lameness 391101 (39%) and recumbency 51101 (5%). This was similar to observations by the animal health service providers with the only sighn being a temperature reaction. The following events were reported by animal health service providers and farmers to have preceded the FMD outbreaks in their order of importance; animal movements, animal congregations, search of feeds from different areas and human/vehicular mechanical transmission. The suggested measures of FMD control were; improved disease surveillance, controlled animal movements, timely and regular vaccinations, public education, and involvement of all stakeholders and strengthening capacity of the ministry of livestock development to deal with the challenges of the livestock sector. The study showed that FMD remains a major constraint to livestock keeping in Eastern Kenya and thus control measures require to be put into place.