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World Zoonoses Day 2023
July 6, 2023

The U.S. Joins Cameroon to Raise Awareness of Zoonotic Diseases, including Cholera

Yaoundé, Cameroon — On World Zoonoses Day 2023, the U.S. government joins Cameroon to raise awareness about zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses, are caused by harmful germs that spread from animals to people both directly and indirectly. Common zoonotic diseases in Cameroon include cholera, rabies, anthrax, avian influenza, mpox, and bovine tuberculosis. These diseases are transmitted to humans through different means including bites or scratches from infected animals such as livestock and wildlife; contact with contaminated objects or surfaces such as soil; and consumption of contaminated food or water.

Like all countries, Cameroon is exposed to zoonotic disease threats, ranging from persistent diseases associated with livestock losses in the North to newly emerging viral pathogens in the South. To strengthen Cameroon’s capacity to prevent, rapidly detect, and adequately respond to public health threats, the U.S. government provides funding and technical assistance through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), with efforts led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). In 2023, the U.S. government provided more than CFA 5.2 billion or $ 8.6 million through the GHSA to support Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Industries, public health laboratories, and academia in their work on zoonotic diseases. In June 2023, USAID Country Representative, Philippe Accilien, travelled to Ebolowa to award certificates of successful training to the graduates of the In-Service Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training. In addition, CDC, and the Cameroon Field Epidemiology Training Program, in collaboration with the University of Buea, trained medical doctors, veterinarians, and laboratory experts from Cameroon and neighboring countries in disease surveillance, contact tracing, and emergency management during a 2-year program.

DTRA supported three frontline field epidemiology training cohorts, as well as public health emergency management training in the South, East and Northwest regions. The agency is also preparing to start renovations of the branches of the Cameroon National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) in Douala and Garoua.

The U.S. government looks forward to continued collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Cameroon in the fight against public health threats, including zoonotic diseases.