In Afghanistan there is little officially reported data to understand the incidence and impact of zoonotic diseases in people at the country level but annual reports from the Disease Early Warning System (DEWS) show a number of outbreaks of zoonotic diseases do occur in people every year.
Serological studies of animal and human populations have shown there is a significant risk of people being exposed to zoonotic pathogens, such as Q fever and brucellosis. Effective management and control of these diseases in people and animals requires integrated inputs from the public health and animal health sectors, including improved detection and management of human cases through the primary health care services, improved detection and management of animal cases, improved case reporting within surveillance programs together with implementation of programs to control the disease in animals and reduce the risk of transmission to people.
Three CIPs will be conducted in Afghanistan to provide information that will contribute to national policy for the management and control of brucellosis and Q fever in people and animals.
A knowledge, attitudes and practices study of health care workers will provide information to develop policy relating to the primary health care management and reporting of human cases of brucellosis and Q fever. An analysis of animal-related brucellosis data collected through passive and active surveillance systems and data on vaccine delivery under the National Brucellosis Control Program will help to refine national policy for brucellosis control in animals. An analysis of risk factors for Q fever amongst fever patients tested for a panel of zoonotic diseases in a rural province of Afghanistan will help to identify priority factors that may be targeted in policy to reduce the risk of Q fever transmission from animals to people.
The three CIPs are:
- Knowledge, attitude and practices of health-care providers in Afghanistan with respect to diagnosing and treating zoonoses
- Descriptive analysis of animal-related brucellosis data collected through passive and active surveillance systems in Afghanistan to inform brucellosis control policies
- Risk factors for Q-fever among people with history of fever of unknown origin in Helmand province, Afghanistan