A Transnational African Zoonosis Education campaign: Raising awareness for wildlife trade-linked health risks

The LWC has partnered with several organisations to initiate a Transnational African Zoonoses Education Campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks of zoonotic disease transmission and encourage lasting behavioural change. The campaign seeks to directly link wildlife conservation with public health protection through the One Health concept. 

What is a zoonotic disease?

Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that are transmitted between humans and animals. Some examples of zoonotic diseases include Tuberculosis, Ebola, Marburg, Monkeypox, Rabies and HIV.

What is the One Health concept?

One Health is the idea that people’s health is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

Why is zoonoses education important in Africa and Cameroon? 

Africa is facing a growing risk of outbreaks caused by zoonotic diseases. The increase in zoonotic cases may be due to several reasons. The growing population creates an increasing demand for food derived from animals – including meat from wild animals (bushmeat). Population growth is also leading to rising urbanisation and encroachment on wildlife habitats.

Despite the frequent zoonotic outbreaks from bushmeat consumption in some parts of Africa, many Cameroonians still consider monkey bushmeat a delicacy and regularly eat other types of bushmeat too.

75% of emerging infectious diseases have originated in animals or animal products – and are, therefore, zoonotic in origin

Why is the LWC involved in this campaign?

The LWC’s mission is to protect Cameroon’s unique wildlife by providing a sanctuary for trafficked animals, educating the public and improving local communities wellbeing. Through the One Health concept, our participation in the campaign aims to protect wildlife through education and awareness to reduce zoonotic disease spread between humans and animals.

How will this campaign help wildlife in Cameroon?

The LWC, located in the Southwest Region of Cameroon, is surrounded by unique and important biodiversity. Wildlife in the region is under threat due to human habitat encroachment and poaching. The education campaign aims to ensure the community knows the risks and consequences of the illegal wildlife trade, shifting deep-rooted beliefs and attitudes and changing long-practised behaviours.

Follow our social media channels to keep updated about the progress of this awareness campaign! If you have any questions about the campaign, feel free to reach out via email.

Please visit reliable sources such as WHO, CDC and the Alliance Against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade to learn more about zoonotic diseases and their risks to human and animal health.

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