The aim of ADVANZ (Advocacy for Neglected Zoonotic Diseases) is to persuade decision makers and empower stakeholders at local, regional, and international levels towards a coordinated fight against neglected zoonotic diseases (NZD), first and foremost in Africa, where the burden from NZD are heaviest. If the battle against NZD is going to be won, a major part of the initiative must come through a behaviour change in the population at risk. A major challenge is that NZD to a large extent are ‘silent’ for the humans living in communities in endemic areas. Therefore locally adapted information is required to generate awareness and alter bad practices. At the same time, the change must be approached via an informed support mechanism, veterinarian, public health and agricultural extension workers being aware of the variety of NZD and the different approaches to combat them. ADVANZ will provide evidence-based knowledge of the cost-effectiveness of controlling these diseases in a manner that can be appreciated. We will implement a new model, based on the One Health approach, which targets decision making bodies involved in disease control: relevant Ministries, district health- veterinary and vector control offices and the locally affected communities. A new Pan-African OH NZD network will be created, harnessing strengths from existing disease specific networks and providing a platform for intersectoral collaboration. An advisory board will guide ADVANZ in design and targeting of NZD information materials. Board members will be experts, primarily from Africa drawn from a range of disciplines including of anthropology, health, agriculture, economics, traditional knowledge and environmental sciences. Strategic partners from relevant EU projects, and representatives from WHO and FAO will be additional board members. An international conference, organized jointly with WHO, FAO and OIE (NZ4) will showcase successful NZ approaches and the ADVANZ model.
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