Otsyina, Hope Richard

Prevalence, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management of Indigestible Rumen Foreign Bodies in Shoats in Urban and Peri-Urban Nairobi.


Sheep and goats (also referred to as shoats) form an important economic and ecological niche in agricultural systems throughout developing countries. Their contribution to household food security, poverty reduction and overall livelihoods is significant and cannot be overemphasised. However, the productivity and reproduction of these animals are greatly undermined by disease conditions, leading to premature culling and mortality incidences and negatively impacting on the livelihoods of smallholder low-income households, especiallythose in peri-urban areas, as this contributes to decreased production and productivity.

One condition that has been gaining prominence in recent times in small-ruminant production is rumen impaction owing to the accumulation of non-biodegradable foreign material, especially waste plastic bags in the rumen. This condition is economically important because it causes severe losses in production and high mortality rates. Furthermore, many of the cases go unrecognised.

Rural-urban migration, triggered by effects of climate change, both rising standards of living and worsening poverty levels, accompanied by rapid natural population growth, have resulted in the increased generation of solid waste in most cities in Africa. This has led to the extensive littering of urban and peri-urban areas with plastic-bag waste, including in pastures and grazing areas in close proximity to urban centres. As grazing land becomes increasingly more polluted with plastic, rope, hair, wool and metals due to the worsening effects of climate change, it may be predicted that indigestible foreign bodies would be a growing problem for scavenging sheep and goats and other grazing animals in the urban and peri-urban areas of developing countries (Mohammed, 2004), where collection, disposal and management continue to be a major challenge.

Supervisor: Dr Mwangi James A Nguhiu, Dr of Veterinary Medicine. Department of Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Disciplinary history: MPhil Veterinary Pharmacology, University of Ghana

Faculty/department of registration: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya (2013)