Knowledge, perceptions and effects of Ebola virus disease outbreak on the pig value chain in the agro-pastoralist district of Luwero, Central Uganda
Kato, Charles Drago
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Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing, and livelihoods of communities. EVD response interventions particularly affect the food value chain, and income security of pig farmers in agro-pastoral communities. Despite the enormous effort of EVD response interventions, there is paucity of information towards EVD among those involved in the pig value chain, as well as the effect of EVD outbreaks on the pig value chain. This study therefore, assessed the knowledge, perceptions on the occurrence of Ebola and its effects on the pig value chain in the agro-pastoral district of Luweero, Central Uganda. A cross sectional study was conducted in two parishes of Ssambwe and Ngalonkulu, Luwero district. A total of 229 respondents were included in the study. Structured questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to collect data. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 22 while qualitative data was analysed using thematic content analysis. Of the 229 respondents, 95.6% could recall the occurrence of the last EVD outbreak in their locality. About 24.5% associated EVD with touching pigs or eating pork. Regarding knowledge, 194 (84.7%) correctly associated EVD with handling Ebola infected persons, 191 (83.4%) with migration of people from endemic areas, 148 (64.9%) eating monkey meat, 127 (55.5%) with eating bats, and 198 (64.9%) with conducting public meetings where there is an Ebola infected person. Out of 142 farmers, 55 (38.7%) believed that Ebola outbreaks affected demand and sale of pigs. The EVD outbreak significantly led to a reduction in the average number of pigs sold (P = 0.001), the average number of pigs bought by traders (P = 0.04), and the number of pigs sold/ slaughtered by butcher men at pork eating places (P = 0.03). This study showed that EVD outbreak negatively affected the pig value chain i.e., the demand and supply of pigs and pork. Therefore, there is need to sensitize the stakeholders in the pig value chain on EVD in order to minimize the negative economic impacts associated with EVD outbreaks.
- Medical and Health Sciences