What to do With Chronically Sick Animals? A Study of Pastoralists’ Decision-Making in the Far North Region of Cameroon

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Title: What to do With Chronically Sick Animals? A Study of Pastoralists’ Decision-Making in the Far North Region of Cameroon
Creators: Healy, Jessica Morgan
Advisor: Moritz, Mark
Issue Date: 2012-06
Abstract: Previous literature has found that the long-term goal of African pastoralists is the healthy, longevity of the herd. However, herders in the Far North Region, Cameroon, do not always remove sick animals from their herds, which seems in direct opposition to this long-term goal. Diseases endemic to the region, such as Brucellosis, have the potential to cause fertility problems for the herd and are highly contagious. Using an ethnographic approach to capture the herders’ perspective on disease and fertility, semi-structured interviews were conducted with sedentary and mobile herders to better understand why herders decide not to sell sick animals and if disease management strategies among Far North Region pastoralists have an impact on herd fertility. Biological samples taken in the two previous years and basic demographic information collected during the interviews were compared against ethnographic information provided by the herders in order to measure the effect of disease management strategies on herd fertility. It was found that herders keep sick animals within their herds due to rational, economic reasons. Time and financial resources have been invested in each animal and selling a sick animal will result in a loss on that investment. Additionally, the prevalence of Brucellosis does not have a negative impact on herd fertility.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Anthropology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2012
Keywords: pastoralists
ecology of infectious disease
public health
veterinary public health
economic decision-making
Sponsors: Ecology of Infectious Diseases (EID) program from the National Science Foundation (DEB-­‐1015908)
Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases (PHPID) at the Ohio State University
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (R24-­27 HD058484)
National Science Foundation, REU grant (DEB-­‐1015908)
Arts and Sciences Committee Honors International Research Grant
College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Undergraduate Research Grant
Description: Received a 2nd Place award in the Social and Behavioral Sciences division at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/52046
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