Zoonotic diseases emerge from animal populations in regions of the world where humans, wildlife and livestock are increasingly in contact.
Government has been called upon to embrace the One Health approach in order to protect both humans and animals from zoonotic diseases.
Zoonotic diseases, which attack both animals and humans, emerge from animal populations in regions of the world where humans, wildlife and livestock are increasingly in contact.
The main transmission mechanisms of Zoonotic diseases include vector bites, consuming contaminated food and water and contact with animals. This accounts for 75 percent of re-emerging diseases worldwide.
Dr. Chima Ohuabunwo, the One Health Fellowship technical head, says they seek to integrate physicians, environmentalists, veterinarians, anthropologists and laboratories to ensure a holistic and exhaustive management of diseases.
The African Field Epidemiology Network is now encouraging and training health experts from the different health sectors to work as a unit.
Dr. Chima cites some Zoonotic outbreaks which include anthrax, brucellosis, Ebola and rabies got from animals. Humans on the other hand misuse the environment by throwing human waste in the open and cut down trees causing infections and deaths to the animals and vice versa.
//Cue in: "We also affect the environment…’
Cue out:…consider the animal.”//
In November 2011 following the death of nine livestock and two people in Sheema district, a One Health investigation was constituted in the three affected farms. It was discovered that the source of the anthrax outbreak was an infected cow from a neighboring district mingling with unvaccinated cattle. This was followed by improper handling of carcasses by farm workers.
Dr. Chima urges health officials to sensitize communities that until today still share their houses with animals about these diseases.
//Cue in: There are diseases, common…
Cue out:…goat or sheep that we live with.”//
Health experts are calling on government to ensure an integrated anthrax vaccination to prevent diseases amongst the animals and reduce human exposure.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 60 percent of the newly identified infectious agents that have
affected people over the past few decades have been caused by pathogens originating from animals or animal products. Of these zoonotic infections, 70 percent originate from wildlife.
one health approach
dr. chima ohuabunwo the one health fellowship technical lead
the african field epidemiology network