TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Southeast Asian countries are to make a regional strategic framework to prevent and control the spread of zoonotic diseases (diseases that originate from animals) to humans.
“These diseases can always occur and spread across regions if not controlled comprehensively,” said Khanchit Limpakarn Janarat, World Health Organization (WHO) regional bird flu consultant, after the opening of the Regional Meeting on Zoonotic Diseases at Le Meridien Hotel, Jakarta, Tuesday (6/11).
Changes in the infection pattern of zoonotic diseases, he said, cannot be predicted.
Currently, there are more than 300 diseases coming from animals that can infect humans.
In addition, 30 new diseases have been detected during the last three decades, 75 percent of which are zoonotic diseases.
Funding to prevent the diseases, said Khanchit, will be discussed together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), representatives of which attended the meeting.
The involvement of the two organizations, according to Kanchit, is important to promote the need of collaboration between human health and animal health sectors as well as making regional strategies to prevent and control the diseases.
G.N. Gongal, a WHO Public Health staff member, said that zoonotic disease were divided into three main types.
First, diseases with potential for endemics such as leptospirosis and anthrax.
Second, dangerous diseases with potential of endemic, including SARS, bird flu, and mangrove tree virus.
Third, diseases that have almost disappeared but have the potential to re-spread, such as rabies.
The regional meeting will prioritize the prevention and overcoming of diseases that are potential to be endemic, such as bird flu and mangrove tree virus—without abandoning the potential of diseases that have disappeared to spread.
AMANDRA MUSTIKA MEGARANI