Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Africa – Presentation
- Many of the factors that frame emerging infectious disease events, and their resultant impacts on biodiversity conservation, are driven by economics, and that poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods opportunities are critical components of disease mitigation strategies.
- Several key obstacles in Africa at the national level that have hindered effective early disease warning systems and control programs are:
- lack of capacity and poor resource availability;
- historically low prioritization of emerging infectious diseases in the face of high HIV, malaria and tuberculosis rates; and
- lack of government transparency with respect to sharing information on emerging infectious disease events in the hopes of safeguarding national economic interests over global public health.
- Addressing emerging infectious disease threats from a costs of prevention vs. costs of inaction standpointand documenting the economic impacts of specific disease entitiesmay be an effective strategy for encouraging government action.
- It will be important to investigate more completely the emerging infectious disease implications that will arise from conservation initiatives such as fence and boundary removal in southern Africa.
- In order to raise greater awareness of the issues to policymakers, a white paper highlighting the conservation threats from emerging infectious disease and zoonoses could be issued jointly by the conservation community with a policy institute.