Community perceptions of important camel diseases in Lapur Division of Turkana District, Kenya
Ogara William O.
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This paper presents the results of a study conducted in Lapur Division of Turkana District, Kenya, to estimate the incidence and mortality of camel trypanosomosis using participatory methods. Four livestock camps ('adakars') were conveniently selected for the study. Four informant groups comprising 6 8 key persons were used for the participatory exercises. The camel diseases identified by the pastoralists in their order of importance according to annual incidence were: trypanosomosis (11.4%); mange (10.8%); tick infestation (7.9%); haemorrhagic septicaemia (7.7%); and non-specific diarrhoea (7.6%). Almost half (49.3%) of the camel population suffered from at least one disease over the previous year. The annual incidence and mortality rates of trypanosomosis were estimated at 15%, and 9.9%, in adult camels and 6.9% and 5.2%, in young camels, respectively. There was a seasonal occurrence of trypanosomosis, with most cases reported in the dry season. The prevalence levels of the disease reportedly declined from about 100%, in 1978 to an almost stable state of about 15% in 2002. This study revealed that camel trypanosomosis is still an important disease in Turkana District, exacting a heavy toll in terms of morbidity and mortality. The economic losses due to the disease were likely to have been great owing to the central role the camel plays in this arid district of Kenya.