CB Okuyo, M Mwanja, E Nambo, C Namatovu, AR Ademun, M Okino, DB Wabwire, S Ndyanabo, C Ayebazibwe, G Nizeyimana, JW Magona and S Okuthe
A Participatory Disease Search (PDS) was conducted in subcounties of Katikekile, Nadunget, Tapac, Rupa and Moroto Municipality in Moroto district with the aim of investigating the prevalence of PPR, possible risk factors for its spread and level of PPR awareness among livestock keepers. PDS tools, including key informant interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and proportional piling were employed. Semi-structured interviews were administered to key informants, including Veterinary experts in Moroto district and Informed Community Leaders. A total of 8 to 14 livestock keepers were selected in each of the 5 Subcounties visited and subjected to FGDs. Proportional piling was employed to facilitate livestock keepers to assess the prevalence and severity of PPR during FGDs. Livestock keeping communities interviewed were aware of PPR and assessed its prevalence to be 21.6% and its severity to be 32.4%, hence confirming its importance and presence. In addition, livestock keeping communities were aware of other related diseases such as Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), Anaplasmosis, East Coast fever (ECF), Heartwater, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Mange, Helminths, Tick infestation and Footrot. The prevalence of PPR was assessed to be 36% in Katikekile Subcounty, 24% in Nadunget Subcounty, 14% in Tapac Subcounty, 20% in Rupa Subcounty, and 20% in Moroto Municipality. Corresponding PPR disease severity was assessed at 10% in Katikekile Subcounty, 34% in Nadunget Subcounty, 8% in Tapac Subcounty, 54% in Rupa Subcounty, and 50% in Moroto Municipality. Laboratory testing for PPR using the competitive ELISA revealed 9 out of 29 (31%) seropositive goats and 1 out of 3 (33%) seropositive sheep. Despite the limited sample size, these findings confirmed and corroborated the views of livestock keeping communities. Key informants and livestock farmers further confirmed that practices such as routine annual migration of livestock from different districts in Karamoja sub-region; mixing of herds; introduction of new animals in the herd during frequent raids; social traditions and the livestock management of the ethnic groups living in Karamoja largely contributed to the spread of PPR. In conclusion, further routine surveillance through PDS was necessary to allow effective prevention and control of PPR outbreaks in Moroto district.
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