This project aims to help decision-makers reduce the health risks associated with the rapidly changing nature of livestock systems in developing countries, focusing on those risks that impact on the livelihoods and health of poor people.
Zoonoses are diseases capable of passing from animals to humans and are estimated to have cost more than $20bn in direct costs globally between 2000 and 2010, with a further $200bn in indirect costs. As well as threatening human and animal health, zoonoses affect livestock production, causing economic and social harm to communities in developed and developing countries.
The purpose of this project, the ZELS project, is to make a step change in the evidence available to help decision-makers reduce the health risks associated with the rapidly changing nature of livestock systems in developing countries, focusing on those risks that impact on the livelihoods and health of poor people.
The Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security worked in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College, the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine, FAO Bangladesh, and Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, on emerging zoonoses in the poultry farming and trading system in Bangladesh as part of a 'One Health' approach.
This partnership brought together a unique combination of expertise in veterinary epidemiology and modelling, public health and social science, as well as great experience of studying, in a number of different countries and settings, avian influenza (AI), epidemiology, village poultry and live bird trade. This was complemented by a deep understanding of the Bangladeshi poultry production system and AI epidemiology in Bangladesh, both within poultry and human populations.
The ZELS project started with a policy consultation conducted by the Centre on Global Health Security. The policy environment in Bangladesh was mapped to identify key actors across the public health, animal health, agriculture, and trade sectors. This informed our understanding of the relationship between the sectors and aid in exploring opportunities for promoting interaction and collaboration between them. The findings from each research step were considered through a series of workshops, and a range of policy options were developed.
The consultation and subsequent interactions with policy-makers were coordinated by the Centre on Global Health Security, and FAO Bangladesh, with the support of the Bangladesh Department of Livestock Services, the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, and the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.