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Investigation and evaluation of communication on transboundary animal diseases in selected countries in the Greater Mekong subregion

Caro, Domingo (2013) Investigation and evaluation of communication on transboundary animal diseases in selected countries in the Greater Mekong subregion. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Communication has long been used in animal health; however, the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has increased recognition of its value in assisting control of transboundary animal diseases (TADs). A number of studies have confirmed that there are gaps in communicating animal health issues, especially in Southeast Asia. This thesis aims to investigate and evaluate communication about TADs in selected Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), specifically in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.

The study is divided into phases and involves scholarly research, fieldwork, and analysis and evaluation. It uses quantitative and qualitative approaches in the investigation. Particularly the literature was reviewed; a survey, interviews, focus group discussions and transect walks were conducted in the investigation and evaluation. The first phase (literature review and knowledge, attitudes and practices survey) aims to provide a background to the study. The second phase comprises exploratory fieldwork, which aims to test the qualitative tools. The third phase aims to evaluate animal health communication campaigns for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and HPAI, as well as the communication roles of village animal health workers (VAHWs).

The study shows that there are varying levels of awareness and knowledge of managing TADs such as FMD and HPAI among stakeholders. It finds that a number of factors affect animal health communication including motivation among study participants (such as farmers, traders, VAHWs and animal health officers); the nature of the disease; government/external funding; and communication strategies.

There is no template for successfully communicating in the area of animal health. However, the thesis argues that developing animal health communicative approaches, strategies and practices based on the perceptions and attitudes of grassroots stakeholders framed by an informed and continually updated contextualised understanding of their animal husbandry practices in selected GMS countries would assist in devising targeted and effective communication strategies in the region or in individual countries.

Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor: Edwards, John, Surma, Anne, Fitch, Kate and Morzaria, S.
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