Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Health Services Management at the Faculty of Health Sciences, was recently invited as a keynote speaker in a one-day seminar in Rabat, Morocco.
Held on Friday, 7 February, 2020 with the theme Les maladies émergentes selon le concept One Health , the conference looked at a number of emerging diseases according to the One Health concept, which promotes an integrated and unified approach to health at local, national and global levels. It was organised by the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Techniques and the One Health Morocco Association.
Prof. Buttigieg’s keynote, for example, focused on “Brucellosis eradication - the Malta case study using One Health approach”, which is also published by Frontiers Public Health as open access.
Emerging diseases appear as the consequence of the breakdown of a pre-existing state of equilibrium, which makes the conditions of transmission favorable, resulting in a new crossing of a barrier of species, or profound environmental changes in the broadest sense.
This is particularly remarkable in the case of vector-borne diseases, where the interactions between the vectors, their hosts and the transmitted infectious agents are highly dependent on the environment. Whatever the mechanism behind emerging or re-emerging diseases, they most often leave humans unarmed, especially since 75% of zoonoses often involve complicated control processes by several actors and disciplines at the human-animal-ecosystem interface.
The theme of emerging diseases is on the world health agenda following the succession of health threats caused by these diseases in recent decades at the so-called interface. FAO, OIE and WHO have been highlighting this theme since 2005 following the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza, and more recently other infectious diseases, in particular the current coronavirus n-Cov 2019, as part of the "One Health" approach and global health security.