Newcastle disease vaccine adoption by smallholder households in Tanzania: Identifying determinants and barriers
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Background Food security is critical to achieving sustainable growth, poverty reduction, and political and economic stability. Livestock have the potential to improve the food security of smallholder households in developing countries, but livestock productivity is constrained by disease. The extent to which households adopt innovations such as vaccines impacts disease control; however, the behavioral and economic drivers underlying household decisions to adopt or forgo vaccination are not well understood. We address this gap with a study of adoption of Newcastle disease (ND) vaccines by chicken-owning households in Tanzania. Methods A cross-sectional survey was administered to 535 households owning indigenous chickens in Arusha, Singida, and Mbeya regions in Tanzania. We measured potential predictors of ND vaccine adoption including knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors correlated with three stages of household adoption: awareness of ND vaccines, previous vaccination, and recent vaccination (within four months) consistent with veterinary guidelines. Results Eighty percent of households were aware of ND vaccines, 57% had previously vaccinated, and 26% had recently vaccinated. Knowing someone who vaccinated increased the odds of a household previously vaccinating [adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.32, 95% CI: 1.1–1.5]. Larger flock size was also associated with higher odds of previous vaccination (AOR: 1.03 for a one chicken increase, 95% CI: 1.01–1.05). Usage of traditional medicine decreased the odds of previously vaccination (AOR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.36–0.95). Conclusion Our findings suggest that encouraging the flow of professional-level knowledge within the community by vaccine adopters is a strategy to increase vaccine adoption. Enhancing local chicken productivity through increased vaccine coverage would strengthen a key smallholder household resource for food and economic security.