The study was carried out to assess community awareness, perceptions, knowledge and attitude to zoonoses in various livestock production systems in Arusha and Iringa regions in Tanzania. Open-ended questionnaires, focus group discussions and matrix ranking techniques were employed.
Nineteen diseases considered to be zonooses were reported by respondents with rabies, tuberculosis, anthrax and brucellosis ranked as the top four diseases in pastoral, agro-pastoral and smallholder dairy farming systems. Respondents from all villages reported rabies as the major problem in all localities. Eighty percent of respondents thought tuberculosis and anthrax being a problem whereas, 74% thought brucellosis was a major problem. Foot and mouth disease (FMD) was reported to be the major problem by respondents in Masaai pastoralist communities. Of the conditions, 37% were actually not zoonotic eg. malaria, East Coast Fever (ECF), mastitis, allergies, typhoid fever, trachoma and cancer. Fifty three percent of respondents thought that tuberculosis, brucellosis and anthrax were difficult to diagnose clinically in animals.
Rabies in humans was reported by respondents to be characterised by madness, barking, and death whereas, emaciation, coughing, recurrent fever, weakness and adenitis manifested tuberculosis. Clinical signs reported for brucellosis were recurrent fever, joint pains, miscarriages and diarrhoea. Many respondents reported cutaneous lesions, diarrhoea, vomiting and deaths as major clinical features of anthrax in humans. Foot and Mouth Disease in humans was reported to be characterised by fever, flue, diarrhoea, headache, coughing and miscarriage.