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Addressing antimicrobial resistance in the Kenya dairy sector

Kenya’s dairy sector contributes approximately 6-8% of gross domestic product with an annual milk production of 3.4 billion litres and over 1.8 million smallholder milk-producing households. Almost 80% of raw fresh milk is sold to consumers through informal markets and there is a growing demand for milk.

Antimicrobials are used in farm animals to prevent and treat diseases or as growth promoters, which can result in antimicrobial residues in milk that may exceed the established maximum residue limits. This is of concern as this sub-lethal concentration of antimicrobials can select for antimicrobial resistance.

This project aims to collect and analyse milk samples from smallholder dairy farms in Kipkelion East Subcounty, Kericho County. The data collected on antimicrobial use and resistance levels in dairy cattle will improve antimicrobial resistance surveillance and lead to a better understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and practices of smallholder farmers on the use of veterinary antibiotics.