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Understanding attitude, practices and knowledge of zoonotic infectious disease risks among poultry farmers in Ghana

By Matilda Ayim‐Akonor, Ralf Krumkamp, Jürgen May, Eva Mertens

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Zoonotic infectious diseases (ZIDs) are increasing globally, and livestock farmers in low‐ and middle‐income countries are at particularly high risk. An evaluation of farmer's behaviour on farms can be used to identify the risk factors and to develop tailored control strategies. This study documents the knowledge of zoonotic poultry diseases (ZPD) among 152 poultry farm workers (respondents) from 76 farms in the Ashanti region of Ghana and assessed their on‐farm attitude and practices that increase their risk to exposure of ZPD. The median age of respondents was 29 years, 91.4% (n = 139) had a formal education, and 80.9% (n = 123) had worked on the farm for more than 1 year. The majority of farms (n = 69, 90.8%) had multiple flocks and 27.6% (n = 21) kept other animals, of which 57.1% (n = 12) were pigs. The majority of respondents had good knowledge about poultry diseases but not about ZPD. A higher level of education and longer work experience improved respondents’ knowledge of poultry and ZPD. Although respondents identified the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) as a major ZPD preventive measure, the majority did not put that knowledge into practice. Most farms (71.1%, n = 54) had no footbath and 55.3% (n = 42) deposited farm‐waste on the farm. While 97.4% (n = 148) of respondents washed their hands after working, only 48.7% (n = 74) wore protective footwear, 2.7% (n = 4) wore overalls, 2% (n = 3) wore nose masks and none (n = 0) wore gloves. The husbandry practices and attitude of farmers expose them to pathogens on the farm and increase their risk of becoming infected with ZPD in the sub‐region. The results from this study could be used to promote human health among farm workers in Ghana.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2020
Publication Title Veterinary Medicine and Science
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 631-638
Publisher Wiley
DOI 10.1002/vms3.257
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Attitudes
  3. Farms
  4. Ghana
  5. Health
  6. Knowledge
  7. open access
  8. Poultry
  9. Zoonoses
  1. open access