Molyko, Southwest Region - Buea, Cameroon


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Research Key

Influence of Abattoir on the Health of Its Workers and Surrounding Communities, Case of Sodepa Abattoir Douala, Littoral Region of Cameroon

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International: $20
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 MS Word & PDF

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Background of the study 

Abattoirs are notorious for polluting the environment, either directly or indirectly, throughout their daily activities around the world.

Due to a lack of an appropriate waste disposal system and a lack of awareness, countless waste and microbiological organisms are dumped during abattoir operations, resulting in air and water pollution, which causes health complaints in the surrounding populations.

In addition, being in close proximity to animals such as livestock slaughtered in abattoirs might result in zoonotic infections or zoonosis.

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is the most common zoonotic illness in livestock and cattle, and it’s also the most contagious.

As a result, the primary goal of this research was to look at the impact of an abattoir on the health of its employees and the communities surrounding it.


The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis among slaughterhouse workers in SODEPA, Douala; to determine the proportion of slaughterhouse workers and nearby communities who are knowledgeable about zoonotic diseases; and to determine the proportion of communities living near the abattoir who practice good hygiene and sanitation.

Material and Methods 

The researchers utilized a sequential cross-sectional study design. A standardized questionnaire will be used to conduct a survey among communities leaving the abattoir and slaughterhouse staff.

The frequency of bovine tuberculosis was assessed by testing slaughterhouse personnel.

A focus group meeting was held, and households were chosen using a systematic sampling process.

MS-Excel 2013, EPI INFO version 7, and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0 were used for data entry and data analysis.


The investigator was able to determine how the abattoir’s activities affect the health of its workers and the surrounding populations by the end of the investigation.



1.1 Background Of The Study

The availability of essential amenities and services in cities and neighborhoods is critical to the population’s long-term viability and health [1].

However, the disadvantages of placing some of these facilities in residential areas sometimes outweigh their benefits [2].

One of these establishments is an abattoir. Abattoirs have a reputation for polluting the environment, either directly or indirectly, throughout their daily activities [3].

Close contact with animals, such as livestock slaughtered in abattoirs, can result in zoonotic infections. In 1959, the World Health Organization classified zoonoses as “diseases and illnesses that are naturally transferred between vertebrate animals and humans.”

Only illnesses with proof or strong circumstantial evidence of transmission between animals and humans are classified as zoonoses.

Pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep, and camels are among the most common sources of zoonosis infections in humans [4].

According to the WHO, zoonotic illnesses account for roughly 60% of all human diseases worldwide and 75% of all new infectious diseases.

Nearly three-quarters of rural people and one-third of urban residents in poor countries rely on livestock for food, income, manure, and other services, and studies suggest that 63 percent of animals infected with zoonotic illnesses [5].

Furthermore, due to a lack of an appropriate waste disposal system, the various waste and microbiological organisms discarded during abattoir operations result in air and water contamination, resulting in health complaints from the surrounding people.

Human activities such as working with animals and in their sheds, improper waste disposal from animal sheds, skinning of infected animals, slaughtering of diseased animals, disposal of infective material from diseased animals, and poor personal hygiene practices have all been linked to zoonotic disease outbreaks in humans [6].

Given their proximity to animals and animal products, personnel in facilities such as abattoirs are at a significant risk of contracting these zoonotic diseases.

Rabies, bovine tuberculosis, anthrax, brucellosis, toxoplasmosis, scabies, and superficial dermatophytes are zoonotic diseases of public health concern [7].

BTB is the most common zoonotic illness among livestock, according to slaughter inspection records from major cities.

Bovine tuberculosis is a highly contagious cattle zoonotic disease that can readily be spread to slaughterhouse workers if sufficient hygiene precautions are not taken [8].

In Africa, bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is common but poorly controlled, and M. bovis poses a health risk to humans [9].

The study’s major goal was to look into the impact of abattoirs on the health of its employees and the communities around them.

Due to discrete waste disposal and highly contaminated effluent discharge, slaughterhouses also have very inadequate hygiene requirements, creating severe public health and environmental dangers [10].

According to Chukwu et al (2011), insufficient attention has been paid to the environmental implications of abattoir waste.

They went on to say that because people aren’t aware of the dangers of abattoirs, it’s typical to see individuals digging shallow wells near them.

These shallow wells would draw tainted water from the nearby aquifer, particularly if the well’s radius of impact extends into the slaughterhouse ground.

According to studies, most slaughterhouse workers have a very poor educational level, and hence may lack the requisite information on zoonotic disease prevention and transmission [11].

According to a study conducted in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, these polluted effluents include a number of infectious organisms that are hazardous to humans [12].

Rotaviruses, hepatitis E virus, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium parvum, Mycobacterium spp., and Giardia lamblia are some of the pathogens found in animal carcasses or excreted in animal waste.

[13,14] These zoonotic pathogens can infect humans via a variety of routes, including contaminated air, contact with livestock animals or their waste products, exposure to potential vectors (such as flies, mosquitoes, water fowl, and rodents), and consumption of food or water contaminated by animal wastes[15].

Infection by microorganisms originating from animal wastes can result in anything from brief illness to death, especially in high-risk people [16]. 

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

With Cameroon’s increasing growth and extension of residential neighborhoods, as well as other land uses such as industrial, commercial, educational institutions, and health centers, overpopulation and congestion around abattoir centers and facilities is becoming a rising problem [17].

Due to their near proximity to animals and infections linked with poor waste management from the abattoir, the increasing populace is at great risk of contracting zoonotic diseases.

Another issue in this setting is poor personal hygiene; slaughterhouse workers do not use their personal protective equipment properly throughout working hours.

This has been identified as a source of infection risk in the workplace, and even when they do use it, they keep it filthy.

As a result, they are more likely to get zoonotic illnesses.

The abattoir’s deteriorating state, as well as its equipment, can be a source of illness or other hazards, particularly for the workers in these facilities.

Furthermore, many abattoirs discharge their effluents untreated into streams and rivers, and the butchered meat is washed in the same water [18].

Zoonosis is a term used to describe a group of diseases that include the Ebola virus and salmonellosis (WHO).

HIV was first transferred to humans as a zoonotic disease in the early twentieth century, but it has now evolved into a distinct human-only disease.

Although many strains of swine and avian flu are zoonosis, these viruses occasionally recombine with human flu strains and can trigger pandemics, such as the 1918 Spanish flu or the 2009 swine flu, the majority of influenza strains that infect humans are human diseases.

Researchers recently discovered that 13 so-called zoonosis cause 2.2 million human fatalities each year [17].

Because the frequency of zoonotic illnesses is very high (75%), and awareness of these diseases is limited, little study has been done in this field, particularly in Cameroon.

1.3 Justification of Study

Infectious diseases are the second leading cause of death in impoverished nations, including Cameroon (63 percent), with 75 percent of these diseases being zoonotic in origin and including diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid [18].

Infections caused by microorganisms found in animal feces can result in anything from brief morbidity to death, especially in high-risk individuals.

In the lack of sufficient education and sensitisation, facilities such as abattoirs are a primary source of germs in feces, which can lead to community ill-health.

Animal parts (horns, skin, skins, and bones) are strewn all over the fields and open spaces, with dogs and vultures preying on these pitiful remains; filth festering; animal blood, water, and trash are immediately disposed into quarters, as in the case of SODEPA slaughterhouse Douala.

As a result, effective hygiene and sanitation measures are required not just for abattoir personnel but also for the surrounding community as a whole.

As a result, the burden of infectious diseases and, as a result, the number of deaths in our country will be considerably reduced.

Thus, in the case of SODEPA abattoir Douala, Cameroon, this study aims to determine the impact of abattoir management on the health of its workers and populations living in its proximity, with the goal of giving realistic solutions or recommendations to the problems encountered.


1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the effects of activities of SODEPA abattoir Douala on the health of its workers and surrounding communities?
  2. What proportion of slaughterhouse workers and individuals living in surrounding communities has correct knowledge on zoonotic infections?
  3. Among those living in the abattoir vicinity, what proportion practice proper hygiene and sanitation?
  4. What is the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis among slaughterhouse workers in bonadale SODEPA abattoir Douala, and people living in surrounding communities?


1.5 Research Hypotheses

H1: Abattoir activities have a negative effect on the health of its workers and surrounding communities.

H2: A small proportion of slaughterhouse workers and individuals living in communities around the abattoir have correct knowledge on zoonotic infections.

H3: A low proportion of slaughterhouse workers and individuals living around the abattoir, practice proper hygiene and sanitation.

H4: The presence of the abattoir influences the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis among slaughterhouse workers of SODEPA Douala, and individuals living in the surrounding community.


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