The Status of Bovine Tuberculosis in Malawi
Malawi has an agriculture-based economy that provides employment to 80% of its workforce. Although it produces about 40% of the annual milk production, the commercial dairy sector is small. Most of the cattle in the country are owned by villagers for milk production and as a source of additional income. This informal sector is subdivided into two broad categories according to the management system and the way in which they market their produce, the smallholder milk bulking groups around large cities, and rural cattle farmers (dipping tank groups), and it appears that the risk of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) being present varies accordingly. Bovine TB occurs throughout the country but its distribution and epidemiological drivers are unknown. The prevalence of zoonotic BTB is similarly unknown although hot spots of zoonotic TB in humans have been identified. The Malawian government does not currently actively control BTB because of the lack of human, diagnostic, and financial resources. This chapter collates the known information about Mycobacterium bovis infections in the country and provides recommendations about interim measures that may be applied to initiate the control of BTB in the country.
KeywordsBovine tuberculosis Dipping tank groups Epidemiology Malawi M. bovis Milk bulking groups Zoonotic tuberculosis
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