The guide to tackling common zoonotic diseases

The guide to tackling common zoonotic diseases
© iStock/kali9

What do you know about common zoonotic diseases? Such diseases continue to be a threat to global health, but FAO, OIE and WHO may have designed a solution.

Zoonotic diseases cause millions of deaths and economic losses every year. To support countries to control these diseases, the Tripartite organisations (FAO, OIE and WHO) today launched a guide titled ‘Taking a Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries’. Here, FAO, OIE, and WHO aim for this guide to help countries take a One Health approach to addressing common zoonotic diseases.

Let’s talk common zoonotic diseases

Zoonotic diseases are those diseases that can spread between animals and people, and they continue to have major impacts on human health.

Every year, nearly 60,000 people die from rabies, and other common zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, Ebola or Rift Valley fever.

These diseases not only affect human health, but also animal health and welfare, causing lowered productivity (milk or egg quality and safety, etc.), or death, and consequently affecting farmers’ livelihoods and countries’ economies.

Taking a One Health approach

To support countries in filling these gaps, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO) today launched a guide entitled ‘Taking a Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries’.

This guide, referred to as the Tripartite Zoonoses Guide (TZG), provides principles, best practices and options to assist countries in achieving sustainable and functional collaboration at the human-animal-environment interface.

The guide is flexible enough to be used for other health threats, for example, food safety and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). By using the TZG and its associated operational tools (which are currently being developed) countries can build or strengthen their national capacities in the following:

  • Multisectoral, One Health coordination mechanisms
  • Strategic planning and emergency preparedness
  • Surveillance and information sharing
  • Coordinated investigation and response
  • Joint risk assessment for zoonotic disease threats
  • Risk reduction, risk communication, and community engagement
  • Workforce development.

Working collaboratively to save lives

By working collaboratively across sectors and disciplines, human and animal lives are saved, livelihoods are secured, and our global health systems are improved in a sustainable way.

The Tripartite organisations encourage countries to use the TZG to achieve these goals by taking a One Health approach to address common zoonotic diseases and benefit animal health.

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