Zoonoses and marginalised infectious diseases of poverty: Where do we stand?
Parasites & Vectors, June 2011
David Molyneux, Zuhair Hallaj, Gerald T Keusch, Donald P McManus, Helena Ngowi, Sarah Cleaveland, Pilar Ramos-Jimenez, Eduardo Gotuzzo, Kamal Kar, Ana Sanchez, Amadou Garba, Helene Carabin, Amal Bassili, Claire L Chaignat, Francois-Xavier Meslin, Hind M Abushama, Arve L Willingham, Deborah Kioy
Despite growing awareness of the importance of controlling neglected tropical diseases as a contribution to poverty alleviation and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, there is a need to up-scale programmes to achieve wider public health benefits. This implementation deficit is attributable to several factors but one often overlooked is the specific difficulty in tackling diseases that involve both people and animals - the zoonoses. A Disease Reference Group on Zoonoses and Marginalised Infectious Diseases (DRG6) was convened by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), a programme executed by the World Health Organization and co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO. The key considerations included: (a) the general lack of reliable quantitative data on their public health burden; (b) the need to evaluate livestock production losses and their additional impacts on health and poverty; (c) the relevance of cross-sectoral issues essential to designing and implementing public health interventions for zoonotic diseases; and (d) identifying priority areas for research and interventions to harness resources most effectively. Beyond disease specific research issues, a set of common macro-priorities and interventions were identified which, if implemented through a more integrated approach by countries, would have a significant impact on human health of the most marginalised populations characteristically dependent on livestock.
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