pose grave threats to humans
60 and 75 percent of new or emerging
infectious diseases of humans in the last five
decades had originated from the animals
ES SALAAM (Xinhua) -- Medical experts
warned on Wednesday that infectious diseases from wild
animals to humans are equally deadly and that
coordinated efforts must be made to contain them.
experts cited Ebola, Marlburg, Rift Valley Fever and
other deadly viral diseases which originate from wild
animals and have wreaked havoc in the East African
region recently, urging for swift investigation,
detection and response to the outbreaks.
at the annual scientific conference organized by the
National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), the
experts said there is great need for the responsible
authorities to jointly strengthen efforts against
outbreak of such diseases like other leading killers.
Mark Rweyemamu, executive director of the Southern
Africa Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS),
said the disease landscape in the continent is
changing and that member countries must change with
new technologies in addressing the health threats to
instance, he said the epidemiology of the
livestock-killing foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus
has not been deeply and consistently studied in
Tanzania and Zambia which have the highest animal
population in the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) region.
a long time, FMD cases have continuously been reported
to occur in the two countries involving vaccinated and
non-vaccinated animals while factors contributing to
its infection and endemicity in susceptible animal
populations are not clearly known.
deputy minister for Health and Social Welfare Seif
Rashid emphasized inter-sectoral and integrated
approach among researchers in the disease surveillance
and control, noting that veterinary experts should be
Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal echoed the view,
saying the emergence of new infectious diseases, most
of them zoonotic in nature appear to be on the rise,
increasingly posing yet another burden to the health
delivery services in Africa.
to the VP, who officially opened the four-day
conference on Tuesday evening in Arusha, between 60
and 75 percent of new or emerging infectious diseases
of humans in the last five decades had originated from
said the Tanzania government now recognizes that
communicable diseases are increasingly respecting no
zoological species boundaries, commending medical
research organizations that embarked their efforts
on how to contain diseases that affect both the
humans and wild animals.
to Dr. Julius Keyyu, the director of research with the
Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI),
diseases which were traditionally confined to wild
animals but which pose a threat to humans and
livestock include rabies, anthrax, brucellosis, and
bovine tuberculosis (TB).
said approximately 60 percent of existing human
pathogens and over 75 percent of those which have
appeared during the past two decades can be traced
back to animals “with proven link to wildlife.”
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