Assessing the impact of Malignant Catarrhal Fever in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania

Assessing the impact of Malignant Catarrhal Fever in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania

Impacts of livestock disease in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania

This study was commissioned by the DFID Animal Health Programme to assess the impact of malignant catarrhal fever in Ngorongoro District, Tanzania. Field studies involved a participatory rural appraisal to evaluate the impact of MCF in Maasai pastoralist communities and collection of laboratory diagnostic material from suspected clinical cases of MCF to validate reported data.

Findings from this study revealed that:

  • MCF was ranked by Maasai among the five most important cattle diseases with East Coast Fever (ECF) being considered to be the disease of most concern to Ngorongoro pastoralists.
  • In villages considered at high-risk of MCF, the disease was ranked second behind ECF
  • In lower-risk villages, MCF was ranked fourth behind ECF, bovine cerebral theileriosis (Ormilo) and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP).
  • MCF is perceived a disease of major significance elsewhere in Maasailand, including northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. Incidence of MCF in Ngorongoro District

The authors propose a series of recommendations with a view to addressing some of the key areas in mitigating against MCF:

  • introduction of a vaccine would allow more efficient grazing management and production systems
  • pilot field trials are essential that would monitor potential impacts of MCF vaccination on livestock production and demographics, vegetation patterns and wildlife movement patterns.
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