Kenya – Present

Marsabit is a large county in Northern Kenya, with a large pastoralist population. The high burden of brucellosis in Marsabit pastoralist communities, whose livelihood
entirely depends on livestock farming, threatens the health of both humans and animals,
and undermines county economics. Because of the high disease prevalence, pathogen
availability poses a great biosecurity risk.

The Marsabit Brucellosis Communication Strategy project was implemented in
collaboration with the county public health and veterinary departments of Marsabit. The
project was implemented in three phases: 1) Project launch and KAP pre-survey
(Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices) 2) Community education through local radio
stations and heath care workers/volunteers training, and 3) Post-survey to assess
change in KAP. Brucellosis syndromic surveillance data was collected on a weekly
basis by community health volunteers.

The key interventions of training of HCWs and CHVs on brucellosis diagnosis,
transmission, prevention and control and dissemination of brucellosis prevention and
control communication health messages was instrumental in changing community
knowledge, attitude and practices. The Baseline KAP survey highlighted low levels of community knowledge on brucellosis mode of transmission, prevention and control measures. It also highlighted various community attitude and practices that put them at risk of disease transmission.

Post KAP survey conducted after key interventions of training of HCWs and CHVs and
dissemination of health messages through local radio station highlighted improvement
in community knowledge, attitude and practices in prevention and control of brucellosis.

Brucellosis is one of the world’s most widespread zoonotic diseases. Possible means of
acquisition of brucellosis includes: direct contact with infected animals, infection from a
contaminated environment, and foodborne transmission. Prevalence of brucellosis
among humans in Marsabit is estimated to be 44% and 11-16% among livestock.
Household with brucellosis positive animals are at higher risk. Marsabit County is
inhabited by nomadic pastoralist communities whose main livelihood are livestock
keeping. It is estimated that the communities manage a population of 32,000 camels
and 150,000 goats.

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