Original Research

Assessing the economics of animal trypanosomosis in Africa - history and current perspectives : vector-borne diseases : trypanosomosis

A.P.M. Shaw
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 76, No 1 | a57 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v76i1.57 | © 2009 A.P.M. Shaw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2009 | Published: 10 September 2009

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Finding appropriate ways of dealing with the problem of tsetse and trypanosomosis will be an important component of efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa. This article reviews the history of economic analyses of the problem, starting with the use of cost to guide choice of technique for tsetse control in the 1950s, followed by work in the 1970s and 1980s linking these to the impact of the disease on livestock productivity, and in the 1990s to its wider impact. In the current situation, with limited resources and a range of techniques for controlling or eliminating tsetse, the cost implications of choosing one technique or another are important and a recent study reviewed these costs. A novel approach to assessing the potential benefits from removing trypanosomosis by creating 'money maps' showed that high losses from animal trypanosomosis currently occur in areas with high cattle population densities on the margins of the tsetse distribution and where animal traction is an important component of farming systems. Given the importance of the decisions to be made in the next decade, when prioritising and choosing techniques for dealing with tsetse and trypanosomosis, more work needs to be done underpinning such mapping exercises and estimating the true cost and likely impact of planned interventions.


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