ZNPHI prepared for drought related disease outbreak

By Paul Shalala

The Zambia National Public Health Institute has started collaborating with government departments that deal with animal health to respond to any zoonotic diseases that may arise from the drought.

Institute Director General ROMA CHILENGI says the drought is likely to put pressure on pasture and this may lead to more interaction between humans and wild animals.

Professor CHILENGI, who is also President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA’s Special Assistant on Health, says there is a possibility of zoonotic diseases being spread due to the drought as wild animals look for pasture beyond their ecosystem.

He says through the Institute’s Pandemic Preparedness Programme, there is collaboration with various government institutions to stop the spread of zoonotic diseases.

Professor CHILENGI said this in Lusaka today during the launch of the Animal Health Systems Strengthening Project which has been funded by the United Kingdom government.

And British High Commissioner to Zambia NICHOLAS WOOLLEY said the Animal Health Systems Strengthening Project aims at building resilient systems to protect animals and humans from diseases.

Meanwhile, Livestock and Fisheries Minister MAKOZO CHIKOTE has urged Zambian famers to graduate from being small scale farmers and break into the international market.

Mr. CHIKOTE said there is a lot that Zambian farmers can provide to the international market due to the favourable environment provided in the country.

And Food and Agriculture Organisation Country Representative SUSAN FILIPPINI said her organisation will continue working with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to ensure that the One Health approach is strengthened.

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