ADVANZ is here to promote and advocate for improving the surveillance and control of neglected zoonotic diseases (NZD) in low-resource societies, first and foremost in Africa. We believe that to optimize treatment and control a One Health approach is needed.
We will gather existing information on treatment, prevention and control of NZD. These will be synthesised ending as a set of information materials generated for use by decision makers and the local media. A step-by-step model will be created, which can be implemented in different cultural and administrative settings, allowing ADVANZ to be applied in other NZD affected regions of the World.
The aim of ADVANZ (Advocacy for Neglected Zoonotic Diseases) is to persuade decision makers and empower stakeholders at local, regional, and international levels towards a coordinated fight against NZDs, first and foremost in Africa, where the burden from NZD are heaviest. If the battle against NZD is going to be won, a major part of the initiative must come through a behaviour change in the population at risk. A major challenge is that NZD to a large extent are ‘silent’ for the humans living in communities in endemic areas. Therefore locally adapted information is required to generate awareness and alter bad practices. At the same time, the change must be approached via an informed support mechanism, veterinarian, public health and agricultural extension workers being aware of the variety of NZD and the different approaches to combat them. ADVANZ will provide evidence-based knowledge of the cost-effectiveness of controlling these diseases in a manner that can be appreciated. We will implement a new model, based on the One Health approach, which targets decision making bodies involved in disease control: relevant Ministries, district health- veterinary and vector control offices and the locally affected communities. A new Pan-African OH NZD platform will be created, harnessing strengths from existing disease specific networks and providing a platform for inter-sectoral collaboration.
ADVANZ has an advisory board guiding us in design and targeting of NZD information materials. Board members are experts from a range of disciplines including of anthropology, health, agriculture, economics, traditional knowledge and environmental sciences. Strategic partners from relevant EU projects, and representatives from WHO and FAO will be additional board members. In NOvember 2014, an international conference,, the NZ4, is organized jointly with WHO, FAO and OIE. At the conference successful NZD approaches and the ADVANZ model will be showcased.
Our advisory board consists of representatives from WHO, FAO and a group of scientific experts. The head of the advisory board is Professor Paul Gibbs.