“We do not bury dead livestock like human beings”: Community behaviors and risk of Rift Valley Fever virus infection in Baringo County, Kenya

Abstract/Overview

Background:Rift Valley Fever (RVF), is a viral zoonotic disease transmitted by Aedes and Culex mosquitoes. In Kenya, its occurrence is associated with increased rains. In Baringo County, RVF was first reported in 2006–2007 resulting in 85 human cases and 5 human deaths, besides livestock losses and livelihood disruptions. This study sought to investigate the county’s current RVF risk status. Methodology and principal findings:A cross-sectional study on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of RVF was conducted through a mixed methods approach utilizing a questionnaire survey (n = 560) and 26 focus group discussions (n = 231). Results indicate that study participants had little knowledge of RVF causes, its signs and symptoms and transmission mechanisms to humans and livestock. However, most of them indicated that a person could be infected with zoonotic diseases through consumption of meat (79.2%) and milk (73.7%) or contact with blood (40%) from sick animals. There was a statistically significant relationship between being male and milking sick animals, consumption of milk from sick animals, consuming raw or cooked blood, slaughtering sick livestock or dead animals for consumption (all at p≤0.001), and handling sick livestock with bare hands (p = 0.025) with more men than women engaging in the risky practices. Only a few respondents relied on trained personnel or local experts to inspect meat for safety of consumption every time they slaughtered an animal at home. Sick livestock were treated using conventional and herbal medicines often without consulting veterinary officers. Conclusions:Communities in Baringo County engage in behaviour that may increase their risk to RVF infections during an outbreak. The authors recommend community education to improve their response during outbreaks. Author summary The study focuses on the knowledge and socio-cultural practices around Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Baringo County. It is intended to identify means through which communities in Baringo County could be exposed to RVF in the event of an outbreak. Specifically, it addresses knowledge of RVF transmission routes, practices in handling and consumption of meat, milk and blood; livestock disease management and disposal of dead animals/aborted foetuses. The study found that community members engaged in practices that would expose them to RVF in the event of an outbreak. These practices include milking and consuming milk from sick animals; consuming meat from slaughtered sick animals and those that die from disease; rarely having animals that were slaughtered at home inspected by a veterinary officer or a local animal expert before consumption; using uncertified techniques to test meat for safety of consumption; and treating sick livestock with both conventional and herbal treatments without the guidance of veterinary personnel. Further, RVF infections are likely to follow a gendered pattern based on the division of labor in livestock production. Based on their results, the study authors recommend community education to increase RVF awareness.

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APA

N.</div>, < (2024). “We do not bury dead livestock like human beings”: Community behaviors and risk of Rift Valley Fever virus infection in Baringo County, Kenya. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/we-do-not-bury-dead-livestock-like-human-beings-community-behaviors-and-risk-of-rift-valley-fever-virus-infection-in-baringo-county-kenya

MLA 8th

N.</div>, <div>Mutua "“We do not bury dead livestock like human beings”: Community behaviors and risk of Rift Valley Fever virus infection in Baringo County, Kenya" Afribary. Afribary, 04 Jun. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/we-do-not-bury-dead-livestock-like-human-beings-community-behaviors-and-risk-of-rift-valley-fever-virus-infection-in-baringo-county-kenya. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

N.</div>, <div>Mutua . "“We do not bury dead livestock like human beings”: Community behaviors and risk of Rift Valley Fever virus infection in Baringo County, Kenya". Afribary, Afribary, 04 Jun. 2024. Web. 25 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/we-do-not-bury-dead-livestock-like-human-beings-community-behaviors-and-risk-of-rift-valley-fever-virus-infection-in-baringo-county-kenya >.

Chicago

N.</div>, <div>Mutua . "“We do not bury dead livestock like human beings”: Community behaviors and risk of Rift Valley Fever virus infection in Baringo County, Kenya" Afribary (2024). Accessed July 25, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/we-do-not-bury-dead-livestock-like-human-beings-community-behaviors-and-risk-of-rift-valley-fever-virus-infection-in-baringo-county-kenya