The Mediterranean Zoonoses Control Program and its Center (MZCC) in Athens, Greece
Recognising the ever-increasing problems that zoonoses are causing, both for human health and for agricultural production, the 31st World Health Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of regional zoonoses control centers. In response to this, the Mediterranean Zoonoses Control Program (MZCP) was formulated under the auspices of WHO and UNDP, with the cooperation of FAO.
Eleven countries have so far signed and/or supported financially the Program (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Portugal, Syria and Turkey), but practically all Mediterranean countries are participating more or less actively. Greece hosts the MZCC, the Coordinating Center of the Program. A Project Document (PRODOC) established the necessary financial resources and defined its objectives as follows: to formulate and promote national projects for the control of zoonoses and related food-borne diseases, as an integral part of national health programs; to strengthen cooperation between national responsible authorities (public health and veterinary services, the educational system and other relevant services and ministries) towards this end; and to improve the surveillance, prevention and control of these diseases. MZCP is perhaps one of the first WHO programs simultaneously involving all elements and the true character of TCDS and implementing multisectoral coordination from the primary health care level up.
Although all zoonoses and food-borne diseases of animal origin are the concern of the Program, priority is presently given to the control of canine rabies, echinococ-cosis/hydatidosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis and other food-borne diseases, as well as to food hygiene. Rift Valley fever has also merited particular attention as a newly emerging zoonosis in the area. Details will be given on MZCP activities in the field of rabies control in the Mediterranean.
In spite of modest budgets, the Program has been developing quite well and is rapidly expanding its activities in the area. In 1981, for instance, national projects started in cooperation with three countries; professionals were trained, sample legislation, guidelines and technical recommendations were disseminated; inventories of resources, vaccines and other biological products and their producers updated; and five meetings were organized with WHO’s and the countries’ cooperation. In 1982 a more extensive program of activities, including seven international meetings and the establishment of the first laboratory unit of MZCC, was developed and implemented. Also a comprehensive national program for the elimination of rabies started in Tunisia and others are expected to start in the Mahgreb, Syria and Turkey. For 1983, besides the follow-up of the above activities, five international training meetings have been planned and started to be implemented.
MZCC would welcome all cooperation from national and international authorities, institutions, scientists and other professionals interested in zoonoses and food-borne diseases control.
KeywordsRabies Virus None None Rift Valley Fever Rabies Vaccine Primary Health Care Level
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