About 60% of infectious diseases are from animals

Dr Kwasi Bowi Darkwa, President of Ghana Veterinary Medical Association, has said about 60 per cent of well known and emerging human infectious diseases had their sources from both domestic and wild animals.

He said the emergence and spread of infectious diseases at the interface between animals, human beings and the ecosystem was a major challenge across the world which required global solutions by veterinaries.

Dr Darkwa said this at a press briefing on the theme “Veterinary Services in the Service of Humanity” in Accra.

It was to create public education on activities of veterinaries and the role of para-veterinarians in the country’s socio-economic development.

He said in developing countries where food of animal origins helped to improve the nutritional status of malnourished people by providing high quality protein and micronutrients quality animal products needed to be improved.

Dr Darkwa said veterinary medicine was concerned with the diseases and health of animals, and related to the well being of mankind in many ways.

He said it contributed to human health by providing the health of animals which provided the necessary income, food transportation draught power and raw materials for clothing throughout the world.

According to Dr Darkwa some estimates suggested that the world production of food from animal origin was reduced by more than 20 per cent due to diseases, and even animal diseases not transmissible to human being might lead to serious health problems due to shortages and deficiencies that might follow.

He called for an international and interdisciplinary cross sectional approach to surveillance, control, prevention, and mitigation of emerging diseases while preserving the environment, especially through compliance with international standards.

Dr Richard Suu-Ire, President of Commonwealth Veterinary Association, said most infectious diseases from animals could be transferred onto human beings through direct contact, consumption or injections, adding that most animals in wildlife had diseases but live healthy.

He said disease surveillance and management was one major duty of veterinaries and important for any country to revisit its agricultural policy since most of these diseases could be controlled by veterinaries in the country.

Dr Joseph Awuni of Veterinary Services Department said it was important to encourage surveillance activities to help educate the citizenry about the seriousness of animal diseases on human beings.

Source: GNA

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