ADVANZ seeks to promote and advocate for improved surveillance and control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD) in low-resource societies, with specific focus in Africa. The majority of neglected infectious zoonotic diseases mainly affect poor and marginalized populations that lack access to health services. As a consequence most marginalized populations are subjected to a cycle of ill-health and poverty as their burden of infectious diseases is aggravated. Of some 1400 species of infectious disease pathogens of humans, nearly 60% are derived from animal sources, hence the importance of recognizing the role of livestock, companion animals and wildlife in the interactions between animals and humans. It is estimated that 0.06% of global assistance for health is devoted to the control of neglected zoonotic diseases as there is a low interest in these diseases from both decision makers and funding bodies. Yet these diseases have caused severe morbidity and mortality on both animals and human beings resulting in a high societal burden.
It is therefore the objective of theADVANZ consortium to create a Pan African One Health Platform that will collect and provide information, resources and advice on neglected zoonotic diseases, diagnostics, treatment and prevention. The prime goal of ADVANZ is to promote and advocate the one health concept in low resource communities in Africa with the objective of improving surveillance and control of zoonotic diseases. Such an objective shall be achieved through the dissemination of context oriented knowledge and information through electronic or print means to target ministries (Health and Agriculture), veterinarians and affected local communities. The expected impact of the project is to reduce the prevalence of neglected zoonotic diseases, increased animal production and welfare that would in turn would improve the general livelihood of the affected population.
ADVANZ is an advisory board which guides in the 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 European Union projects, and representatives from WHO and FAO will be additional board members. From the 19th – 20th of November 2014 a conference for the NZ4 will be hosted in Geneva which is being jointly organized by WHO, FAO and OIE. At the conference successful NZD approaches and the Pan African Platform will be showcased.