Zoonotic disease epidemiology in western Kenya

Zoonoses have wide-ranging impacts on human health and livelihoods as well as animal and ecosystem health and their impacts may be highly variable and uncertain. The results of these infections may vary from asymptomatic to long-term morbidity and death. Identification of the risk factors and establishing estimates of the impact of diseases on animal and public health, generally referred to as burden of disease, will be valuable inputs for decision makers when setting policy priorities and monitoring intervention programs.


To establish the epidemiology of the zoonotic diseases and determine the risk factors data will collected from various key sources, namely: hospitals, markets, slaughterhouses, butcheries and at household. Prevalence estimates of each of the targeted zoonotic infections in cattle, pigs and small ruminants at 15 markets and approximately 170 slaughterhouses and butcheries will be established at the same time the number of cases of each of the targeted zoonotic infections in people reporting to 5 hospitals and 10 clinics will also be determined. 600 case control trace-back studies at the household level and focus group discussions will be used to determine the socio-economic burden of zoonotic diseases.


The goals of this work package are to:

  • Screen livestock at markets and slaughterhouses, and humans reporting to health care facilities with suspected zoonotic disease, to obtain high quality baseline epidemiological data on the prevalence and incidence of zoonotic infections;
  • Provide data on zoonotic disease burden and develop a quantitative risk network model of zoonotic disease distribution in different species and locations, parameterized from and validated against the field data;
  • Provide better evidence of zoonotic and other health constraints in humans and livestock;
  • Understand the gender dynamics, socio-economic factors and the culturally constituted risk factors, beliefs, myths, perceptions, misconceptions, and behaviors likely to enhance or reduce zoonotic diseases risk and biosecurity assessment of various actors (using a value chain analysis); and
  • Establish the economic importance of the zoonotic diseases both as production constraints and as they are perceived by the communities themselves.



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