Veterinary World


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Copyright: The authors. This article is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Original Research (Published online : 08-02-2013)

3. Factors associated with milk producer's awareness and practices in relation to zoonoses in northern Malawi - Stanly Fon Tebug
Vet World. 2013; 6(5): 249-253

Background: Many diseases are known to be naturally transmissible between vertebrate animals, including cattle and humans. Currently, much effort is being made to promote dairy farming in Malawi but there is limited information about zoonotic diseases including public awareness and practices. This study was designed to determine factors associated with dairy producer's awareness and practices with regard to zoonoses in Northern Region of Malawi.

Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was used to collect information from 140 randomly selected dairy producers between January and June 2011. Level of awareness and practices with respect to zoonotic infections was evaluated using a score ranging from 0 to 11. Chi-squared test followed by a multivariable logistic model were used to assess potential factors associated farmer's awareness and practices.

Results: Awareness and practice level was unsatisfactory. Significantly higher number of respondents (75.7 vs. 32.9%, χ2 = 51.81, df =1, p< 0.001) had satisfactory level of awareness when compared to those who practiced preventive measures. Awareness of the existence of zoonotic infections and practices was higher in farmers who acquired animals through loan (p = 0.008), farmers with above primary education (p = 0.002) and farmers with more than six years of dairy farming experience (p = 0.010). Most farmers (59.3%) received information about zoonoses through Agricultural extension services.

Conclusion: Awareness and practices with respect to zoonotic infections was dependent on farmer's formal educational level, dairy farming experience and means of acquiring parent stock. Regular disease surveillance and promotion of education on the risk associated with zoonotic infections through dairy extension and medical services should result in increased awareness and efficient control of zoonoses in Malawi.

Keywords: knowledge, Malawi, prevention practices, zoonoses