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Collective efforts needed to control zoonotic disease: Experts

The Daily Dawn

Collective effort of all government and non-government organizations concerned has become a crucial issue to control the community level zoonotic disease particularly anthrax as its risks has gradually been increasing in the country.

"Compared to other countries in the region, the prevalence of zoonatic diseases is not very high, but definitely we (Bangladesh) are exposed to growing risks of such diseases," Deputy Director of One Health Programme (OHP) in Asia Dr Raju Ahmed revealed.

He said Bangladesh was exposed to growing risks of Zoonatic diseases which mainly are transmitted to human body from animals.

Dr Ahmed was presenting his keynote paper in a divisional consultation workshop styled "Zoonotic Disease Control in Community" held at the conference hall of Divisional Director of Health in Rajshahi city yesterday.

Relief International organized the workshop in association with its project 'Fighting Zoonoses in Bangladesh- Awareness, Preparedness and Control' and European Union One Health Programme in Asia.

With Divisional Director of Health Dr. Abdur Razzaque Miah in the chair, Principal of Rajshahi Medical College Prof Dr Masum Habib and Divisional Deputy Director of Department of Livestock Mohir Uddin shared their expertise on the public health issue.

Dr Raju Ahmed told the workshop that enhanced awareness about production and consumption of healthy or safe meat, egg and milk and consciousness about the deadly impact of dog bites causing rabbis were crucial need of the day.

"Unhealthy poultry feed, indiscriminate slaughtering of sick cattle in unhealthy places and lack of awareness about animal corpses disposal could cause outbreak of zoonatic diseases in massive scale causing a major health crisis," said the official of the OHP, which is funded by European Union and Relief International. Time has come to make the local government institutions capable so that they can mitigate the anomalies.

Ahmed referred to an Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) rabbis alone claims 2,000 human lives every year in Bangladesh.

Divisional Assistant Director of Department of Livestock Kolyan Kumar Fouzder, District Animal Resource Officer Dr Mizanoor Rahman, Prof Dr Jalal Uddin Sarder from Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science of Rajshahi University and Thana Livestock Officer Dr Md Yamin gave overviews of different zoonotic diseases.

Various issues like capacity building on zoonoses, learning and challenges, transmission and prevention were discussed elaborately.

The meeting was told that although livestock is the main source of meat and milk for human consumption, human health hazards associated with these foods of animal origin have great importance from the public health point of view.

More than 80 diseases have, so far, been found as zoonotic disease in the world. Of those, anthrax, avian influenza, rabies, TB, brucellosis, tetanus, amoebiasis, cysticercosis, fascialiosis and Nipa Virus are found to be common in Bangladesh, the experts said.

The participants put special emphasis on establishment of slaughter house to ensure hygienic meat. Awareness development is the most potentialmechanism to control zoonoses.

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