Humans and animals living in poor communities in the developing world often suffer from health problems arising from neglected zoonoses. Control options for these diseases are perceived as either too expensive or to be beyond the mandate of either the human or animal health systems. There is evidence that zoonoses in humans can be suppressed or even eliminated through interventions in animals. Moreover, joining human and animal health services can provide access to care that would otherwise not be affordable or not be available. The close collaboration between the public and animal health sectors, also called One Health, with clearly defined roles for each sector, offers a formidable potential for creative and cost-effective solutions in disease control.
Despite the emerging evidence on the effectiveness of One Health in surveillance and control of zoonoses, institutional barriers limit the added value of closer cooperation between human and animal health.
OH-NEXTGEN will develop a web-based modular training course designed to empower a new generation of scientists to address One Health issues faced by communities in Africa. While this programme is targeted to the Maghreb and the Sahel, the course will be accessible world-wide by offering training modules through the European Tropical Health Education Network (tropED) and other existing networks.
The course will include selected neglected zoonoses and generic themes such as integrated methods of joint human and animal disease surveillance and epidemiology, health economic assessments, animal-human modelling of infectious disease, trans-disciplinary approaches to connect science and society and address issues of culture, gender and contextualized extension and health education. In each module the added value of One Health is demonstrated. The project will complement the existing EU FP7 ICONZ project, which builds up the evidence base for integrated control approaches to neglected zoonoses in 7 African countries.
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