The control of neglected zoonotic diseases : a route to poverty alleviation
report of a joint WHO/DFID-AHP meeting, 20 and 21 September 2005, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, with the participation of FAO and OIE
Measures to safeguard human health and to control disease in livestock and other animals for the prevention of the transmission of animal-borne or zoonotic diseases are too often undertaken in isolation of one another. The meeting, organized jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Animal Health Programme of the UK Department for International Development (DFID-AHP), showed the dual benefits to be gained by both the animal and human health sectors by investing in the integrated and coordinated control of these diseases.
The meeting saw how, with more effective measures, we have the chance to simultaneously save lives and secure livelihoods. Effective control of zoonotic diseases would mean a decreased disease burden, poverty reduction and increased food supply for large numbers of the rural poor worldwide, thereby contributing towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/index.html.
Cost-effective control measures already exist for several neglected zoonotic diseases such as rabies and brucellosis. More integrated interventions can be packaged through these existing structures. In certain cases, with the right programmes and adequate funding, this could lead to regional or even global control, or complete elimination of individual diseases such as dog rabies and echinococcosis in North Africa or brucellosis and echinococcosis in northern China.