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Some 250 diseases transmittable from animals to humans, humans to animals.

QUETTA, January 18, 2012 (Balochistan Times): There are some 250 Zoonotic and environmental diseases which can transmit from an animal to human beings and humans to animals, experts said during a workshop held under aegis of Relief International here at a local hotel Tuesday. The workshop titled as Bio Engagement on Livestock for Life Project which is implemented by the Relief International and funded by United States Department of States. National Project Manager Bio Engagement on Livestock for Life Dr Aziz Ahmad said that livestock contributed around 50% of the National GDP of which the share of Balochistan was 25%. He said that though there was no baseline but still the experts suggested that some 250 zoonotic and environmental diseases existed which could be transmitted from animals to humans and humans to animals. good number of them is lethal, he added. Ishtiaq Ahmad a functionary of Relief International said that the main objectives of the program were to create awareness among the stallholders about the diseases which could be transmitted from animals to human beings and vice versa. Moreover, some the diseases were lethal for the animals in a large number which could be a huge loss to the owner. He said that initially the agency had launched the awareness program in Qila Saifullah, Pishin and Quetta districts. In these districts students and public are being sensitized about the issue. Moreover the agency also plan to form a committee which may consist of the representatives of Health, Livestock, Fisheries, Education and others which would take effective steps for the prevention of these diseases. Aisha Shah, another functionary of the agency said that in most areas women handled sheep, cows and goats. Due to poor awareness they were at the frontline for these diseases. She said that the agency trained some 50 educated women in Qila Saifullah about the hazard and would expand the program in volume and to other areas of the province. She said that in most villages the handlers of the livestock never report or investigate the cause of death of an animal. Moreover, the dead animals are thrown at the open space which is harmful for the environment, healthy human beings and other animals, because most of the diseases causing deaths in animal are either zoonotic or environmentally transmittable. Dr. Azam Kakar, a professor at the BUITMS said that the number of the diseases which could be transmitted from animals to human being and human beings to animal is not yet final. He however said that the baseline for the number of transmittable diseases was 250, which include Anthrax, Babesiosis, Balantidiasis, Brucellosis, Cholera, Cowpox, Dengue fever, Congo and others. He said that the students of the university are being involved to research these diseases. He estimated the number of animals in Balochistan to 35 million which was playing an important role in economy of the province. He said that lack of proper vaccination and feeds were the main causes of zoonotic and environmentally transmitted diseases between animals and humans. It is worth mentioning that few months ago a well known surgeon Dr. Ayaz Mandokhail died on a Congo virus.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 18, 2012
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