Posted in science

The (neglected) ties binding human and animal health

Wellcome Trust Blog

Animal diseases make up 60 per cent of all human pathogens and have a significant impact on poverty. Yet for many years, the worst diseases were sorely neglected by the international community. Eric Fevre describes how this turned around, and what researchers are now doing to tackle it.

In the far west of rural Kenya, close to the border with Uganda, livestock keepers struggle with poverty, food security, and a considerable burden of both animal and human disease. Ninety-five percent of the population of this region, sandwiched between Lake Victoria and Mt Elgon, are smallholders – growers of crops and keepers and small herds of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. The animals people keep are the backbone of their domestic stability – providing essential food and nutrition, but also serve as an investment, cashed in when the need for funds arises, which is often to pay for heathcare or…

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