Prof. Sue Welburn
Executive Dean of ZJU-UoE Institute
Professor of Medical and Veterinary Molecular Epidemiology at UoE
Date: Tuesday, 14 March 2017
*Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the event
Growing evidence for the advantages of joint human-animal health systems in the field of the diagnosis, prevention and control of zoonotic diseases is considered essential for their successful disease control leading to an overarching recommendation from the Tripartite (WHO, OIE and FAO) to ‘work towards the emerging concept of One Health’.
High profile zoonotic disease initiatives such as the Global Response to Avian Influenza have provided platforms for advocacy for emergent diseases but much can be learned from our long-term experiences of endemic disease management. The promotion of OH approaches for control of neglected zoonotic disease (NZDs) is firmly acknowledged with future research agendas envisaged as ‘interdisciplinary, participatory and integrated with prevention and control needs’. Seven endemic diseases have been targeted upon which to base initial efforts: anthrax, bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, cysticercosis, cystic echinococcosis, rabies and zoonotic trypanosomiasis and recommendations for action have been made at global, regional and national level to assess NZD burden in developing nations, providing a framework for future control. The WHO Roadmap ‘Accelerating work to overcome the impact of NTDs’ acknowledges that controlling NZDs is cost-effective, securing livelihoods and saving lives and sets elimination and eradication goals for some NTDs for 2015 and 2020.
Resolution WHA66.12 at the 66thWorld Health Assembly, saw for the first time a specific Resolution that covered five NZDs (within a group of seventeen NTDs). Recognising previous successes, this urges Member States to take ownership of NTD control and strengthen national capacity in an integrated way and encourages coordination with Veterinary Public Health actors under a OH approach. However, it is difficult to reconcile how brucellosis, a major global NZD, affecting poor communities worldwide, has been omitted and while public-health strategies for NZD prevention and control acknowledge the importance of integrated Public Health there is a lack of detail as to how collaboration would occur between human and veterinary sectors. Control of endemic diseases offers the opportunity for aggregation of marginal gains – the adoption of small system wide changes that can collectively have large impacts, including new diagnostic tools, new approaches and modified practices.