NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – More than 60 young African scientists are gathered in Nairobi to showcase their initial findings at the 2018 Afrique One Aspire Science and Management Board meeting.
Drawn from 12 African countries, the scientists are presenting findings on diseases transmitted between livestock to human and vice versa such as rabies and brucellosis.
Afrique One Director Bassirou Bonfoh says the organization has committed itself to focus on diseases transmitted between animals and humans for the next five years.
Brucellosis, a disease transmitted from livestock to humans through poor meat handling and consumption of unpasteurized dairy products, causes significant losses of up to US$452 Million worldwide.
“Lack of sensitive diagnostics, coupled with the long-term disease presentation often leads to inaccurate diagnoses and eventual lengthy and costly management of disease symptoms particularly among rural, low-source populations,” Bonfoh said.
On the other hand, Africa accounts for 80 per cent of deaths caused by rabies.
Bonfoh recommends for mass dog vaccination with at least 70 per cent coverage as a means of eliminating rabies.
“This is not achievable in some countries because of limited veterinary services such as human resources, post-exposure drugs and vaccines.”
Bonfoh adds that in many African societies, the population of dogs is high with most of them having no owners. Vaccinating them, is therefore a major problem.
However, there is hope due to availability of rabies vaccines which can be kept in remote rural areas for up to two months outside the fridge.