Global Health Academy

The neglect of infectious diseases on the developing world

A study undertaken by researchers at the University of Edinburgh Led by Professor Sue Welburn has revealed that decades of neglect of infectious disease has led to the devastation of thousands of people’s lives in the developing world.

The study published in PLoS Neglected Tropics Diseases highlight anthrax, brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis as the three zoonotic diseases. They each lead to poor health and a threatened food supply, and are most prevalent in societies where poverty is widespread and where people’s livelihoods rely on animals.

Simple and effective controls are available for these diseases, which have been eliminated or brought under control in developed countries. However, poor healthcare infrastructure in developing countries has meant that thousands of cases are left undiagnosed, which presents a challenge to health professionals, policy makers and researchers in their efforts to combat the diseases.

A multidisciplinary One Health approach is recommended, involving experts from a range of disciplines helping to control the disease and improve the health of both humans and animals.

It is extraordinary that in the 21st century we are failing to manage brucellosis and the other neglected zoonotic diseases that impact so severely on rural communities in developing economies when, for many of these diseases, the tools to manage them are well developed

Professor Sue WelburnDirector, Global Health Academy

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