Healer-driven ethnoveterinary knowledge diffusion among semi-nomadic pastoralists in Karamoja, Uganda
Van Damme, Patrick
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Karamojong, semi-nomadic pastoralists of Uganda, rely on indigenous knowledge (IK) for their own healthcare and their livestock's. It is important to preserve, promote and protect IK, in order to keep it from disappearing. One way is to facilitate its diffusion. The aim of this study was to compare the status of ethnoveterinary knowledge (EVK) in three unrelated communities to investigate whether organised healer-promoted EVK is more easily diffused and to what extent. This study applies a 'knowledge, attitude and practices' (KAP) survey to measure EVK application relating to twelve livestock diseases and sixteen remedies in different communities. Only in the community of Nabilatuk do registered healers regularly meet for participatory EVK sharing and afterwards pass on ideas to neighbours. Participants from the Lorengedwat community rarely interact with Nabilatuk while the interviewees of the Kaabong group have had virtually no chance to interact with the two other communities. In total 180 people (60 per site) were interviewed. Data were analysed in relation to distance from the healers' association; this significantly influenced EVK scores. Overall Nabilatuk scores were higher than those obtained in both other villages, while Lorengedwat was higher than the most distant and remote community ofKaabong. This indicates that organised healers have been effective in divulging their information and in promoting EVK diffusion.