Scientists estimate that 70% of emerging infectious diseases originate from animals, and 60% of the existing infectious disease are zoonotic. Zoonotic diseases are transmitted from animals to humans and can be spread through water, food, and the environment. COVID-19 is probably a good example of such a zoonotic diseases because it is thought most likely to have originated from bats. Other diseases like Ebola, Rift Valley fever, brucellosis and cysticercosis are also considered to be zoonotic. These diseases impose a huge burden on people and the global economy.
Scientists across ILRI, along with national and international partners carry out research towards improving the control of zoonotic disease through the collection of baseline evidence from animals at the various interfaces, and through the application of tools and approaches such as disease modelling, risk mapping, disease surveillance and use of decision support tools.
It is estimated that it costs the world USD 500 billion each year in terms of lives lost and economic slowdowns compared to USD 20 billion per year for preventative actions. Yet funding for managing pandemic diseases receives only a fraction of that put toward managing a warming globe.
Providing proactive, risk-based animal health services is a crucial investment in the battle against human disease plagues.
ILRI is one of sixteen scientific research centres known as CGIAR that are working for a food-secure future in developing countries.