Assessing Anthrax Surveillance Systems in the Horn of Africa by using One Health Approach
Anthrax is a bacterial zoonotic disease with high public health and economic significance in many developing countries. A severe problem in East Africa with a significant human incidence because the disease is poorly controlled, the recurrence of anthrax outbreaks warrants more attention to increase awareness about its public health impact among high risk groups, and to create effective control measures to prevent anthrax infection in animals and limit its transmission to humans.
Regardless of its endemicity in the Horn of Africa, surveillance systems are limited or inadequate. Moreover, integration between the human and animal health sectors is lacking. As a result there is limited data on the burden, distribution, economic impact and the risk factors of anthrax in these countries which needs to be revealed. There is a need to have a comprehensive understanding of the existing national surveillance systems, economic impact, identify high risk areas and the risk factors contributing to the persistence, spread and transmission of anthrax in the region.
This study aims to evaluate the existing national Anthrax surveillance systems, and understand knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) on zoonotic risks of anthrax among high risk groups in Kenya, Somalia/Somaliland, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The study involves document review, key informant interviews with government representatives, as well as KAP questionnaires with higher risk groups including farmers, abattoir workers and butchers in each country.
Additional research activities comprise disease mapping and ecological niche modelling, as well as evaluation of the economic impact on humans and animals in the Horn of Africa.