The role of veterinary public health in the prevention of zoonoses
Veterinary public health is a component of public health activities devoted to the application of professional veterinary skills, knowledge, and resources for the protection and improvement of public health. VPH activities involve a very diverse range of functions within public health which reflect the broad community of interests between veterinary and human medicine. Zoonoses continue to represent an important health hazard in most parts of the world, where they cause considerable expenditure and losses for the health and agricultural sectors. Although the situation is improving in the industrialized world, zoonoses prevention and control will remain an area of major concern in most developing countries. Recent observations in these countries show that expenses related to the prevention of zoonotic diseases in humans are likely to increase dramatically in the near future. Programmes for their control and eventual elimination in animal reservoirs are urgently needed. The technical knowledge exists to bring diseases such as brucellosis, rabies, and bovine tuberculosis under control during the first decade of the next century. To achieve this goal, constant efforts will be needed for the next 15 to 20 years. In addition, as trade in animal products and the movement of human populations continues to increase, the risk that zoonotic diseases will be introduced or reintroduced into certain areas is likewise increasing. Over the past five years, a number of zoonotic diseases have emerged as either new pathological entities or known agents appearing in new areas or as new strains. Through its coordinating and information gathering functions, the WHO Emerging Disease Surveillance and Control Division provides a source of both practical and technical guidance that can help solve these and other threats to human health posed by animals.
KeywordsCommunicable Disease Zoonotic Disease Japanese Encephalitis Rift Valley Fever Public Health Activity
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