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Improved disease control by community participation - the case of African swine fever in northern Uganda

Published 2017-12-07

Outbreaks of infectious diseases in humans and animals can act as shocks to the livelihoods of poor people in the same way as other types of catastrophes. By controlling animal diseases, negative impact on economic development, food security and livelihoods can be mitigated. For many important infectious animal diseases the epidemiology is well understood, but despite that, effective control is not achieved. It is becoming evident that to control these diseases, sociocultural, economic and political dimensions are as important as veterinary knowledge.


African swine fever (ASF), is a severe and often fatal infectious disease of pigs, with great socio-economic impact on rural communities in Uganda. ASF has been known and studied for almost 100 years, but is still uncontrolled in most areas.


Using multidisciplinary participatory methods, the proposed project will investigate the multiple reasons for farmers’ responses to disease, such as social pressures, poverty-related constraints, and lack of health and veterinary infrastructure. The feasibility of sustainable implementation of control interventions at all levels in the value chain will be investigated, and the effect of stakeholder participation on the processes evaluated. The project seeks to enable more effective policies for disease control, including promotion of  control interventions that are feasible to self-sustainably implement (beyond any project activities) within the particular local context. The results will be applicable to ASF in Uganda and other infectious animal and human diseases in similar settings.