UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


IGP researchers talk to Bartlett 100 about their work tackling the spread of bovine TB in Ethiopia

19 February 2019

IGP researchers working on the Ethiopia Control of Bovine Tuberculosis Strategies (ETHICOBOTS) project talk to Bartlett 100 about their work with epidemiologists, immunologists and geneticists to tackle the spread of bovine TB in Ethiopia's burgeoning dairy industry.


"Over the first five years (concluding in August 2019), the ETHICOBOTS project has gathered data on the prevalence of bTB in Ethiopia. It's found that in some exotic cattle in intensive dairy farms in central Ethiopia, the prevalence of bTB is more than 30%, while in zebu it is between 0 and 19%. 

The project has been working towards developing sustainable strategies for controlling the disease. It has examined the management of sickness and health both in smallholder households, and on emerging commercial dairy farms. It has also studied new consumption patterns, more intensive animal husbandry techniques, formal and informal trade networks of cattle and dairy products, an increasing labour burden and attitudes to risk and decision-making.

New funding for a further two years will allow this work to continue and IGP's part in that is to continue its work with affected communities - making sure that strategies suggested by the natural scientists in the project to prevent and control the disease in both cows and humans, make practical sense to the people who make their living from dairy farming."

"We are working with and listening to the farmers - that way they are more likely to report problems and become reliable sources of surveillance data." - says Catherine Hodge, a PhD Candidate at IGP who is investigating systems and technologies that could be used to help farmers understand risks and share information.
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