Vaccinating helped to reduce the death rate of the cattle. The disease free cattle produced more amounts of milk which helped in feeding the family and also to sell the milk in the marketplace.
The study published in the Journal Science Advances and researchers from Washington State University have found households that vaccinated their cattle earned extra income that can be spent on food and education.
"When households vaccinate, it increases their wealth and income and sets them on a trajectory to provide education for their children and it has an intergenerational effect if a family can spend more of their resources on education, especially for girls," said lead author Tom Marsh.
"We are interested in understanding how the health of livestock translates into household decisions and meets sustainable development goals," said Marsh.
"For example, concern about loss of milk production drives the adoption of vaccines because it is so important to households and children."
"East Coast fever is one of the most devastating cattle diseases," said Marsh. "It is the leading cause of calf death in east Africa."
For pastoral families, cattle are a main source of income. Losing even one to disease can negatively affect an entire family. Broader implications for antibiotic resistance.
Households that vaccinated used fewer antibiotics to treat animals, so the widespread adoption of vaccinations could have larger global health benefits.
"We need to think long term about the use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, as well as vaccines," said Marsh.
"If organizations are going to invest more money on vaccines, then besides the known effects such as fewer cattle deaths, we need to understand the indirect effects and developing better vaccines and easier ways to distribute them could have broad societal effects," he explained.