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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 1.71
A framework for the study of zoonotic disease drivers among displaced communities
Livestock is an essential asset to pastoralist households. Zoonoses - animal diseases transmittable to humans - therefore greatly affect pastoralist livelihoods, economic output and health. As poverty and low socio-economic status are considered main determinants of people’s vulnerability to disease, pastoralists affected by conflict or disasters are at an even higher risk. Pastoralists may become displaced after losing their pastures, or instead become sedentary after losing their livestock due to shocks. Research indicates that some zoonotic diseases disproportionally affect people in settlements, therefore livestock is generally not allowed in formal refugee camps out of concern for human health, which in turn may act as a deterrent from accessing services. Displaced communities often reside in volatile, less accessible areas, affecting the availability of health services, as well as pathogen, vector and host environments, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks. There is limited research available into the mechanisms underlying zoonotic disease transmission in displaced populations. The emergence of zoonotic diseases amongst naive (host) populations and the risk in areas where people and animals with weakened immune systems live closely together are areas that need to be increasingly researched. Infectious disease risk is affected by a range of ecological, political and socio-economic drivers, meanwhile the interlinkages of animal-, human- and environmental health requires a multidisciplinary approach. The article therefore proposes a conceptual theoretical framework to comprehensively study zoonotic diseases in the context of displacement. The framework will support a holistic approach to studying the drivers and dynamics of zoonotic disease among displaced populations.