A retrospective study and predictive modelling of Newcastle Disease trends among rural poultry of eastern Zambia

C. Mubamba, G. Ramsay, C Abolnik, G Dautu, B Gummow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Newcastle Disease (ND) is a highly infectious disease of poultry that seriously impacts on food security and livelihoods of livestock farmers and communities in tropical regions of the world. ND is a constant problem in the eastern province of Zambia which has more than 740 000 rural poultry. Very few studies give a situational analysis of the disease that can be used for disease control planning in the region. With this background in mind, a retrospective epidemiological study was conducted using Newcastle Disease data submitted to the eastern province headquarters for the period from 1989 to 2014. The study found that Newcastle Disease cases in eastern Zambia followed a seasonal and cyclic pattern with peaks in the hot dry season (Overall Seasonal Index 1.1) as well as cycles every three years with an estimated provincial incidence range of 0.16 to 1.7% per year. Annual trends were compared with major intervention policies implemented by the Zambian government, which often received donor support from the international community during the study period. Aid delivered through government programmes appeared to have no major impact on ND trends between 1989 and 2014 and reasons for this are discussed. There were apparent spatial shifts in districts with outbreaks over time which could be as a result of veterinary interventions chasing outbreaks rather than implementing uniform control. Data was also fitted to a predictive time series model for ND which could be used to plan for future ND control. Time series modelling showed an increasing trend in ND annual incidence over 25 years if existing interventions continue. A different approach to controlling the disease is needed if this trend is to be halted. Conversely, the positive trend may be a function of improved reporting by farmers as a result of more awareness of the disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'A retrospective study and predictive modelling of Newcastle Disease trends among rural poultry of eastern Zambia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this