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Review 2: "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 2: "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:

  • Strong. The main study claims are very well-justified by the data and analytic methods used. There is little room for doubt that the study produced has very similar results and conclusions as compared with the hypothetical ideal study. The study’s main claims should be considered conclusive and actionable without reservation.

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Review: The authors have looked at knowledge, attitudes and practices related to anthrax among livestock workers in Nigeria. Generally, the study found a poor understanding of anthrax among study participants.

The study is well written and clear, and the sample size of the study makes this a significant contribution. The authors should reconsider the statistical tests that they used. The use of chi-square is usually for comparing percentages across different groups to see if the groups are statistically different. It is generally not used in the way that the authors have used it. I believe a slightly more sophisticated analysis is needed to look at associations (e.g., logistic regression). Since this is a cross-sectional study, I suggest that the authors present prevalence ratios (see doi: 10.1002/sim.7059). I also noted that the authors use aOR, but I'm not sure which variables they adjusted for.

Another issue that could greatly help the reader is to include what the correct knowledge or attitude is within the tables.  Right now, the tables mention the numbers and percentages of respondents who believed in a particular risk, but it's unclear what the correct belief is. Many readers will not know the risk factors, so the authors need to make this much clearer to readers.

There is very little understanding of anthrax among livestock workers and animal owners in Nigeria. Certain variables, like low education, increase the likelihood that an individual will have poor knowledge, attitudes, and practices. There is an important need to increase education and training among livestock workers and animal keepers in Nigeria to improve behaviors that prevent the spread of anthrax.

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