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Based on passive and active data, we report on an epidemiological assessment of surveillance and control of rinderpest (RP) in Uganda between 1990 and 1998. Active data were collected by administration of questionnaires to animal-health personnel and their auxiliaries and to stockowners in six selected districts of eastern and northeastern Uganda. Passive data were extracted from vaccination and seromonitoring reports, and from field and laboratory reports. RP events were classified as "confirmed outbreaks", "suspected outbreaks" and "rumours". The classification of 56% of the RP events as "suspected outbreaks" indicates the difficulty in investigating disease outbreaks in Uganda. Although vaccination coverage and seroprevalence were <85% (the recommended target), they nevertheless corresponded well-reflecting effective vaccination. However, because of the low seroprevalence, a sizable population of cattle remained at risk of RP. The agreement between the local and national disease reporting systems was low-to-moderate (k = 0.39); this indicates inefficiency in disease reporting.
Risk factors for RP outbreaks were cattle raids and communal grazing. Based on overlaid thematic maps of seroprevalence, vaccination coverage and RP events, close spatial and temporal associations were observed between cattle raids, transhumance and outbreaks and rumours. The high-risk areas were in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country. The results of this study support a phase approach of following the OIE pathway.