Global Health Academy

ADVANZ: Advocacy for Neglected Zoonotic Diseases

ADVANZ seeks to promote and advocate for improved surveillance and control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD) in low-resource societies, with specific focus in Africa.

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Neglected Zoonotic Diseases

The majority of neglected infectious zoonotic diseases mainly affect poor and marginalized populations that lack access to health services. As a consequence most marginalized populations are subjected to a cycle of ill-health and poverty as their burden of infectious diseases is aggravated. Of some 1400 species of infectious disease pathogens of humans, nearly 60% are derived from animal sources, hence the importance of recognizing the role of livestock, companion animals and wildlife in the interactions between animals and humans. It is estimated that 0.06% of global assistance for health is devoted to the control of neglected zoonotic diseases as there is a low interest in these diseases from both decision makers and funding bodies. Yet these diseases have caused severe morbidity and mortality on both animals and human beings resulting in a high societal burden.

What approach with ADVANZ take?

ADVANZ (Advocacy for Neglected Zoonotic Disease) gathers existing information on treatment, prevention and control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases. The information is synthesized into information materials for use by decision makers and the local media. A step-by-step model will thus be created, which can be implemented in different cultural and administrative settings, allowing ADVANZ to be applied in other NZD affected regions of the World.

The aim of ADVANZ is to persuade decision makers and empower stakeholders at local, regional, and international levels towards a coordinated fight against NZDs, first and foremost in Africa, where the burden from NZD are heaviest. If the battle against NZD is going to be won, a major part of the initiative must come through a behaviour change in the population at risk.

A major challenge is that NZD to a large extent are ‘silent’ for the humans living in communities in endemic areas. Therefore locally adapted information is required to generate awareness and alter bad practices. At the same time, the change must be approached via an informed support mechanism, veterinarian, public health and agricultural extension workers being aware of the variety of NZD and the different approaches to combat them.

ADVANZ will provide evidence-based knowledge of the cost-effectiveness of controlling these diseases in a manner that can be appreciated. We will implement a new model, based on the One Health approach, which targets decision making bodies involved in disease control: relevant Ministries, district health- veterinary and vector control offices and the locally affected communities.

A new Pan-African OH NZD platform will be created, harnessing strengths from existing disease specific networks and providing a platform for inter-sectoral collaboration.

ADVANZ has an advisory board guiding us in design and targeting of NZD information materials. Board members are experts from a range of disciplines including of anthropology, health, agriculture, economics, traditional knowledge and environmental sciences. Strategic partners from relevant EU projects, and representatives from WHO and FAO are additional board members.

In November 2014, an international conference, the NZD4, was organized jointly with WHO, FAO and OIE. At the conference successful NZD approaches and the ADVANZ model were showcased.

Project Objectives

  • Compile and synthesise evidence-based models from communities and central stakeholders for the added value of using the One Health approach for prevention and control of NZD
  • Generate information material at three levels: (1) for stakeholders at decision level (ministries), (2) district health and veterinary extension officers and (3) domestic animal keepers and local communities
  • Establish an overarching Pan African NZD ‘network of networks’ for advocacy joining up single-string NZD networks into an overarching One Health NZD network to advocate NZD prevention and control in a more holistic and culturally and environmentally acceptable way
  • Generate advocacy for NZD at the highest international level by organising a global conference with the aim to provide international stakeholders with a One Health aproach for improved control of NZD


University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Co-ordinator) University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
AVIA-GIS, Belgium The University of Edinburgh, UK
Prins Leopold Instituut Voor Tropische Geneeskunde, Belgium Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

Leader of Work Package 4

The University of Edinburgh portion of this grant is led by Sue Welburn, Professor of Medical and Veterinary Molecular Epidemiology in the School of Biomedical Sciences’ Centre for Infectious Diseases.

The overall aim of this work-package was to organise the 4th International meeting on the control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD4), "From Advocacy to Action", which took place on 19-20th November 2014 at WHO HQ, Geneva. This meeting was jointly hosted by WHO, OIE, FAO Tripartite, ADVANZ, ICONZ.

Further information can be found below and a report complementing the current NZD conference series 1-3 will be published shortly.


ADVANZ received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 312030. It is supported by OIE, WHO, FAO, ICONZ and OH NEXTGEN

Partner Projects

ADVANZ has been run in close association with two other EC Framework 7 programmes - ICONZ (Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonoses) and OH-NEXTGEN (Training of the One Health Next Scientific Generation in the Sahel and Maghreb)