Nomadic pastoralist communities: An invisible frontier in health surveillance

AgHealth

Borana women with sheep and goats at a traditional deep well water source, Garba Tulla, Isiolo, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Fiona Flintan).

The effects of COVID-19 have gone undocumented in nomadic pastoralist communities across Africa, which are largely invisible to health surveillance systems despite their significance in the setting of emerging infectious disease.

A new research paper in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (online first 10 Sept 2020) exposes these landscapes as a ‘blind spot’ in global health surveillance, elaborates on the ways in which current health surveillance infrastructure is ill-equipped to capture pastoralist populations and the animals with which they coexist, and highlights the consequential risks of inadequate surveillance among pastoralists and their livestock to global health.

As a platform for further dialogue, the authors of the paper also present solutions to address this gap. These include the development of an integrated One Health surveillance system that links pastoralists, their livestock and overlapping wildlife populations with centralized disease reporting. Community-based syndromic surveillance and participatory epidemiology would also improve…

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About Dr. Bukar USMAN, mni

I started as a field Veterinary officer with the Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, maiduguri as a lecture & a researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. In 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I am now the Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) NAFDAC. I’m a member of the National Institute’ (mni), Kuru SEC 40, 2018. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I founded Sril Group Ltd, Nigeria.
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