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Review 1: "Knowledge, Perception, and Preventive Practices of Livestock Workers and Household Animal Owners Regarding Anthrax in Nigeria"

This preprint analyzes the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of anthrax among individuals that have close contact with animals in Nigeria. Reviewers found this preprint to be generally reliable and believe it to be an important contribution to a poorly researched topic.

Published onMay 29, 2024
Review 1: "Knowledge, Perception, and Preventive Practices of Livestock Workers and Household Animal Owners Regarding Anthrax in Nigeria"
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Knowledge, Perception, and Preventive Practices of Livestock Workers and Household Animal Owners Regarding Anthrax in Nigeria
Knowledge, Perception, and Preventive Practices of Livestock Workers and Household Animal Owners Regarding Anthrax in Nigeria
Description

Abstract Anthrax disease outbreak is a significant public health and socioeconomic problem, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) like Nigeria. Inadequate knowledge and poor preventive practices against the disease among livestock workers and household animal owners remain important for disease transmission. Following the recent outbreaks in Nigeria, a cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the knowledge, perception and preventive practices of livestock workers and household animal owners regarding anthrax and the associated socioeconomic implications in Nigeria.A pretested, semi-structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to elicit relevant information from the respondents (n=1025) in seven of the 36 states in Nigeria. Data were analysed using SPSS version 29. Univariate analysis was done and Chi-square test statistics was test for association between the knowledge/perception and other variables.Of the 1025 respondents, 58.6% and 79.9% demonstrated good knowledge and positive perception towards anthrax. However, there were important exposure practices, including a lack of preventive measures against anthrax infection (22.0%). Besides, only 27.7% of the respondents knew about the anthrax vaccination programme for livestock in the study area. With respect to the socioeconomic effects of the disease outbreak, 23.8% of the respondents indicated that the regulations imposed during an anthrax outbreak affect their livestock-related activities, while 40.6% were worried they might go out of business due to the anthrax outbreak. The respondents’ knowledge of anthrax was significantly associated with higher education (p=0.000), level of awareness (p=0.000) and perception of risk (p=0.000).The study reveals a relatively high level of perception but an average knowledge level regarding anthrax with associated socioeconomic impacts among livestock workers and household animal owners in Nigeria. An important knowledge gap includes the poor knowledge of the routine annual vaccination of animals. Hence, mitigation strategies should include educational programmes targeting this gap.

RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:

  • Reliable. The main study claims are generally justified by its methods and data. The results and conclusions are likely to be similar to the hypothetical ideal study. There are some minor caveats or limitations, but they would/do not change the major claims of the study. The study provides sufficient strength of evidence on its own that its main claims should be considered actionable, with some room for future revision.

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Review: The study investigates the knowledge, perception, and preventive practices regarding anthrax among livestock workers and household animal owners in Nigeria, following recent outbreaks. While a significant portion demonstrated good perception, there were notable gaps in knowledge, particularly concerning routine animal vaccination. Mitigation strategies should focus on educational programs targeting these gaps, as knowledge levels were associated with higher education, awareness, and perception of risk.

The manuscript provides a comprehensive assessment of anthrax awareness and practices among livestock workers and animal owners in Nigeria. While the study's conclusions are generally supported by the data and methods used, there are some areas for consideration and improvement. The manuscript effectively contributes to broader research understandings by shedding light on the current state of anthrax awareness and practices in Nigeria. While the findings may not necessarily refute existing understandings, they provide valuable insights into the gaps and challenges that exist in anthrax prevention and control efforts within the country. The manuscript positions itself within the current literature by citing relevant studies and discussing the limitations of the research, thereby ensuring that the work is grounded in reality and contributes to ongoing discourse in the field.

In terms of clarity and presentation, the manuscript is generally well-structured and well-written. However, there are opportunities for improvement in the organization of certain sections and the clarity of the recommended actions resulting from the findings. Providing a more explicit discussion of the implications of the study results for policy and program implementation could enhance the manuscript's relevance and utility to key audiences, including policymakers and public health practitioners.

Ethical considerations are adequately addressed in the manuscript, with a discussion of the ethical concerns related to the study's design and implementation. Additionally, the manuscript demonstrates attention to diversity and inclusion by considering the perspectives of livestock workers and animal owners from various socio-demographic backgrounds within Nigeria.

While the manuscript provides valuable insights into anthrax awareness and practices in Nigeria and is generally well-supported by the data and methods used, there are opportunities for improvement in terms of clarity, organization, and the explicit discussion of implications for policy and practice. Addressing these areas would enhance the manuscript's impact and relevance to both the research community and decision-makers involved in anthrax prevention and control efforts in Nigeria and similar settings.

The lay public, policymakers, and the media should recognize the urgent need for enhanced awareness and improved practices regarding anthrax prevention and control among livestock workers and animal owners in Nigeria. This preprint underscores the critical importance of targeted interventions and policy measures to mitigate the risks posed by anthrax to both public health and agricultural livelihoods in the region.

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