A Simplified Diagnosis Tool to help Reduce Cattle Fatalities

  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/includes/common.inc(1696) : eval()'d code on line 1.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/includes/common.inc(1696) : eval()'d code on line 1.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /courses/i202/public_html/f12/sites/all/modules/social_media/social_media.module on line 248.

This article is inline with the Japanese Farm story we discussed in class this week, but without the use of GPS, cloud computing, sensors and other sophisticated technology employed on the Shinpuku Seika farm. The end goal is however similar, to the extent that technology is being leveraged to compensate for a lack of resources (trained, qualified people). 

The article is about a new tool which has been developed for diagnosing livestock disease. Proper diagnosis is essential to control the spread of disease and the primary aims of the tool are "to record cattle symptoms, to simplify disease assessments and boost the numbers of correct diagnoses, particularly as misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment can lead to drug resistance among animals."  and it is "designed to help local animal-keeping communities and animal health workers diagnose and treat animal diseases". Similar to the Japanese farm except that here the knowledge for diagnosis is stored on the card rather than with an expert 

The tool itself is simple in terms of design and technology. But it is this simplicity which is its strength. A simple tool means it is cheap to manufacture, a simple design means it is easy to operate and interact with. It facilitates a better organized veterinary service delivery mechanism in the absence of associated resources i.e. hospital buildings, laboratory services and qualified doctors to confirm the test results. 

Why is this important? It might not be in a developed country or one which is not so dependent on agriculture and livestock, but in Uganda, where "up to 80 per cent of the population get their livelihoods
from subsistence agriculture and livestock production, and farmers
produce majority of milk and beef consumed in the country, accounting
for a big part of its gross domestic product" it is a big deal especially since most veterinary services are privatized thereby pricing out many people from accessing their services. Although this tool has been implemented in Uganda this could very easily be a story from any developing country plagued by similar problems.

Unfortunately, this "wonder-sounding" tool has not yet gained wide penetration in the country mainly because of a lack of government support. It is currently used only by the study's participants and that is the sad part. This made me connect and think about the discussion on the role of government as facilitators in collaboration or in creating a collaborative environment. 

Here is the link for the story:


There is also a link to the full research data in the article.