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Advocacy for identifying certain animal diseases as ¿neglected¿

Roger F., Solano P., Bouyer J., Porphyre V., Berthier D., Peyre M.I., Bonnet P.. 2017. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11 (8) : 4 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005843

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect almost 1,000,000,000 people in 149 countries ( Most are small family farmers living in the least-developed countries where health systems are often inadequate, and climate conditions are favourable to infectious and parasitic diseases. These diseases hinder socioeconomic development, maintain poverty, and impede the achievement of UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) [1]. Economic analyses have shown that their control, elimination, or eradication would lead to net economic benefits [2]. Rapid progress can be achieved when organised health systems, whether public, private, or mixed, are in place to provide diagnostic methods and facilities, treatments, and vaccines. Of the 18 diseases on WHO's list of NTDs, only 5 are zoonoses: Taenia solium cysticercosis, echinococcosis, leishmaniasis, rabies, and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). Some authors consider this list incomplete and believe that at least 3 other major zoonoses¿anthrax, bovine tuberculosis, and brucellosis¿should be included [3]. Moreover, while some public¿private partnerships¿e.g., the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines, GALVmed (¿now target major livestock diseases impacting smallholders by connecting academia, public research institutes, and the pharmaceutical sector, no strictly animal disease (i.e., nonzoonotic) has been labelled ¿neglected¿. Nevertheless, animal diseases directly impact people's livelihoods. Furthermore, due to the multiple functions fulfilled by livestock in rural societies¿as sources of food, income, and social status¿animal diseases ultimately also impact human health.

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