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One Health Day highlights need for prevention of zoonotic diseases

One Health Day highlights need for prevention of zoonotic diseases

Story by Grace Sibanda

EDUCATING the community on the dire effects of the intertwined relationship between animals, humans and the environment was the focal point at the One Health Day commemorations held in Bulawayo this Friday.

The day also highlighted the cohabitation of humans and animals, which has been blamed for the spread of infections and diseases such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we are commemorating this day, we are bringing in stakeholders so that we ensure that we holistically solve this problem. What promotes health is that we need to understand that working together is paramount because most of these diseases emanate from day-to-day interactions between humans and animals,” said Acting Pro Vice Chancellor of Lupane State University, Dr Thulani Dube.

“We are pushing for collaboration between health workers and the community so that we can solve this problem of diseases emanating from the connection between animals, humans and the environment,” said, Senior Lecturer of Lupane State University, Dr Margaret Macherera.

Veterinary expert, Dr Gwinyai Zhandire highlighted the importance of regular animal and human tests to reduce the risk of acquiring infectious and non-infectious diseases.

“We note that most of the diseases that are causing havoc have animal origin hence people need to understand the modalities of transmission of diseases across the species. 80% of global human infectious diseases are from animals, hence it cannot be overemphasised that there is a need for regular tests, surveillance and investigation to prevent future pandemics,” said Dr Zhandire.

The One Health initiative is a collaborative effort meant to address health threats associated with the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

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