Pastoralists’ Vulnerability to Trypanosomiasis in Maasai Steppe

Happiness J. Nnko, Paul S. Gwakisa, Anibariki Ngonyoka, Meshack Saigilu, Moses Ole-Neselle, William Kisoka, Calvin Sindato, Anna Estes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Trypanosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease of both livestock and humans. Although pastoral communities of the Maasai Steppe have been able to adapt to trypanosomiasis in the past, their traditional strategies are now constrained by changes in climate and land regimes that affect their ability to move with their herds and continually shape the communities’ vulnerability to trypanosomiasis. Despite these constraints, information on communities’ vulnerability and adaptive capacity to trypanosomiasis is limited. A cross-sectional study was therefore conducted in Simanjiro and Monduli districts of the Maasai Steppe to establish pastoralists’ vulnerability to animal trypanosomiasis and factors that determined their adaptation strategies. A weighted overlay approach in ArcGIS 10.4 was used to analyze vulnerability levels while binomial and multinomial logistic regressions in R 3.3.2 were used to analyze the determinants of adaptation. Simanjiro district was the most vulnerable to trypanosomiasis. The majority (87.5%, n = 136) of the respondents were aware of trypanosomiasis in animals, but only 7.4% (n = 136) knew about the human form of the disease. Reported impacts of animal trypanosomiasis were low milk production (95.6%, n = 136), death of livestock (96.8%, n = 136) and emaciation of animals (99.9%, n = 136). Crop farming was the most frequently reported animal trypanosomiasis adaptation strategy (66%, n = 136). At a 95% confidence interval, accessibility to livestock extension services (β = 7.61, SE = 3.28, df = 135, P = 0.02), years of livestock keeping experience (β = 6.17, SE = 1.95, df = 135, P = 0.001), number of cattle owned (β = 5.85, SE = 2.70, df = 135, P = 0.03) and membership in associations (β = − 4.11, SE = 1.79, df = 135, P = 0.02) had a significant impact on the probability of adapting to animal trypanosomiasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-731
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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