Antimicrobial usage in cattle and poultry production in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: pattern and quantity



Antimicrobials are extensively used in cattle and poultry production in Tanzania. However, there is dearth of information on its quantitative use. A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted from August to September 2019 in randomly selected poultry and small-scale dairy farms, in three districts of Dar es Salaam City eastern, Tanzania, to assess the practice and quantify antimicrobial use. Descriptive and statistical analyses were performed at a confidence interval of 95%. The ratio of Used Daily Dose (UDD) and Defined Daily Dose (DDD) were used to determine whether the antimicrobial was overdosed or under dosed.


A total of 51 poultry and 65 small-scale dairy farms were involved in the study. The route of antimicrobial administration was 98% orally via drinking water and 2% in feeds for poultry and for small-scale dairy farms, all through parenteral route. Seventeen types of antimicrobials comprising seven classes were recorded in poultry farms while nine belonging to six classes in the small dairy farms. Majority of the farms (poultry, 87.7% and small scale dairy, 84.3%) used antimicrobials for therapeutic purposes. About 41% of the poultry and one third (34%) of the dairy farmers’ were not compliant to the drug withdrawal periods. Beta-lactams, fluoroquinolones, sulphonamides, tetracyclines and macrolides were the commonly used antimicrobials on these farms. In the poultry farms both those with records and those which relied on recall, antimicrobials were overdosed whereas in the small dairy farms, sulfadimidine, oxytetracycline and neomycin were within the appropriate dosing range (0.8–1.2). The majority (58.6%) of farmers had adequate level of practices (favorable) regarding antimicrobial use in cattle and poultry production. This was associated with the age and level of education of the cattle and poultry farmers.


The study revealed a widespread misuse of antimicrobials of different types and classes in both poultry and small-scale dairy farming in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This result gives insight into the antimicrobial use practices and its quantification. The information obtained can guide and promote prudent use of antimicrobials among the farmers by developing mitigate strategies that reduce antimicrobial resistance risk potentials.

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