Diseases transmitted from animals to people in Africa have jumped 63 per cent in last decade, compared with the previous ten year period, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) analysis released on Thursday.
“And more than 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases, are caused by pathogens shared with wild or domestic animals,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti told journalists at a media briefing.
“They account for a substantial burden of disease, resulting in about a billion sick people, and millions of deaths globally every year”.
Rising urbanization, which has encroached on natural habitats, is likely responsible for this increase in the animal-to-human disease spike, along with a growing demand for food, which has led to faster road, rail and air links from remote to built-up areas. More