Associations between sources of information and animal health knowledge of rural farmers in central Ethiopia
This study explored the information sources through which working donkey owners and users in Ethiopia acquire knowledge about donkey health and husbandry practices. Individual interviews, a Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA) and a cross-sectional study with rural farmers were utilised to develop an understanding of the existing sources of information concerning donkey health and husbandry, and determine the association with the knowledge of farmers. Numerous sources were utilized by owners for information regarding health and husbandry advice for donkeys. Most owners reported that the sources were unreliable with regards to the information they provided on donkey health and husbandry. Knowledge score of participants increased as the number of information sources contacted increased. Knowledge score also increased with increasing education level, literacy ability and radio access. A significant association between knowledge score and age was identified, with knowledge score decreasing in older individuals. Multilevel linear regression models revealed a number of variables, including formal education level and cattle ownership to be significantly associated with knowledge score. We conclude that a range of factors can affect the knowledge level of an individual concerning donkey health and husbandry, and that individuals with more diverse knowledge sources have higher knowledge scores. The relationship between specific farmer variables and animal health knowledge is complex, and it may be necessary to use different sources and channels to transfer and disseminate information to individuals living in rural Ethiopia.
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