The Financial Costs Associated with Porcine Cysticercosis and Epilepsy in Iringa Rural District


Taenia solium cysticercosis is a zoonotic disease that poses serious public health risk and significant economic losses in the pig industry. Human neurocysticercosis is recognized as an important cause of epilepsy in regions where T. solium is endemic. The monetary burden caused by T. solium cysticercosis condemned pigs and epilepsy is under-reported in Tanzania, Iringa rural district being no exception. The aim of the present study was to estimate the financial costs associated with porcine cysticercosis (PCC) and epilepsy in Iringa rural areas. The study employed questionnaires and interviews to explore the public health and socio-economic impacts of T. solium cysticercosis. A total of 365 randomly selected participants comprising of 306 pig farmers and 59 families with epileptic patients were involved in the survey. The findings indicated that the average selling price was USD 84 for mature pigs and ranged from USD 13 - 27 for piglets. The estimated annual monetary loss due to PCC was USD 144,449. The estimated monetary burden due to epilepsy management in hospitals and/or by traditional healers was USD 78,592 per annum. It is concluded that the monetary burden incurred by pig farmers due to PCC caused economic loss at both the subsistence and commercial levels. Yet, epilepsy has serious potential economic impacts through direct and indirect costs incurred on the management of epileptic patients from family to national level. It is hence recommended to practice indoor pig keeping for the elimination of economic losses caused by PCC infection. There is an urgent need to raise awareness on the economic burden caused by porcine cysticercosis and epilepsy in Iringa rural district.

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Nkwengulila, G. (2014) The Financial Costs Associated with Porcine Cysticercosis and Epilepsy in Iringa Rural District. Health, 6, 2959-2965. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.621334.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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