Curbing climate change, protecting the environment to prevent future epidemics: experts

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UN experts said that NAIROBI: land degradation, wildlife exploitation, intensive farming and climate change are causing diseases that move from animals to humans, like coronoviruses.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) jointly identified seven trends responsible for such diseases, known as zoonotic, taking steps from governments to prevent future epidemics. Called upon.
These are growing demands for animal protein, extraction and urbanization of natural resources, intensive and sustainable farming, exploitation of wildlife, increased travel and transportation, changes in food supplies and climate change.
UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson said, “The science is clear that if we continue to exploit wildlife and destroy our ecosystems, we can see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the coming years Huh.”
“The epidemic is devastating for our lives and our economies, and as we have seen in the last months, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer the most.
“To prevent future outbreaks, we must become more intentional about protecting our natural environment.”
60% of known infectious diseases in humans and 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, he said, largely due to increased interactions between humans, animals and the environment.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the new coronaviruses, most likely to originate in bats, have infected more than 11 million people and killed more than half a million globally.
But it is one of a growing number of diseases in recent years, including Ebola, MERS, West Nile fever, Zika, SARS and Rift Valley fever – which have taken a leap from animal hosts to human populations in recent years.
About two million people, mostly in developing countries, die each year from neglected zoonotic diseases. These outbreaks not only cause serious illnesses and deaths, but also cause major economic losses for some of the world’s poorest people.
In the last two decades, zoonotic diseases have caused more than $ 100 billion in economic losses. The report states that it does not include the cost of the Kovid-19 epidemic, which is expected to reach $ 9 trillion over the next few years.
Experts say that most efforts to control zoonotic diseases are not active. They want governments to invest in public health, agricultural sustainability, over-exploitation of wildlife and mitigating climate change.
Africa – home to a large portion of the world’s remaining intact rainforests as well as a rapidly growing human population – is at high risk of increasing zoonotic diseases – but may also provide a solution, experts said.
“The situation on the continent is ripe to intensify existing zoonotic diseases and facilitate the emergence and spread of new ones,” said Jimmy Smith, Director General of ILRI.
“But with their experiences with Ebola and other emerging diseases, African countries are demonstrating proactive ways to manage the disease outbreak.”
He said some African countries had adopted a “One Health” approach – uniting public health, veterinary and environmental expertise that can help identify and treat outbreaks in animals before they are passed on to humans.
Experts urged governments to develop strategies to provide incentives for sustainable land use and animal husbandry and to create food that does not depend on habitat and biodiversity destruction.
Monday is World Zoonos Day, which commends the work of French biologist Louis Pasteur on 6 July 1885, who successfully administered the first vaccine against rabies on 6 June 1885.

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