Animal health education for pastoralists in Tanzania
Through focus group discussions and interviews with pastoralists, extension officers and government veterinarians in south-central Tanzania, livestock disease priorities, access to livestock health services and ways of improving livestock health were studied. The findings were published in the paper “Educating pastoralists and extension officers on diverse livestock diseases in a changing environment in Tanzania” in Pastoralism (2015, 5:1).
The perceptions of the relative importance of livestock diseases differed between the three stakeholder groups and between different (agro)pastoral ethnic groups Barabaig, Maasai and Sukuma. This indicates the need for decentralised livestock health services. However, all groups identified livestock health education for pastoralists and extension officers as a critical need. In livestock health policy, local-level conditions must be considered to be able to address location-specific health problems. Education tailor-made for pastoralist households and extension officers in different areas would make the livestock health system more flexible. Moreover, policymakers would have access to more reliable information about local conditions.