Africa, Home Of Diseases With No Tool- Expert


Aminat Gusanu


In a compelling call to action, Prof. Simeon Cadmas, the Director of the Centre for Control and Prevention Zoonoses at the University of Ibadan, has called for the  need to fortify Africa’s defenses against diseases.


He lamented that despite  Africa has  often been labeled the “cradle of diseases,” it is suffering from  shortage of the essential tools crucial for in-depth investigation and definitive confirmation of these cases.


Cadmas, a visionary in his field, asserts that a surge in funding holds the potential to catalyze the recruitment of an expanded workforce of adept veterinary doctors.


These professionals would then orchestrate large-scale vaccination campaigns, breathing new life into Africa’s public health landscape.

Distinctively, he notes that even as Africa grapples with an intricate tapestry of diseases, it languishes without the sophisticated diagnostic apparatus possessed by its more developed counterparts.


“We stand at a critical juncture, poised to amplify veterinary services throughout Nigeria. Through strategic financial backing, we can harness the prowess of additional veterinary doctors, propelling ambitious mass vaccination initiatives,” Cadmas passionately advocates.


He unveils an irony that has long overshadowed Africa’s predicament: “Africa has earned its reputation as the epicenter of diseases, yet what eludes us are the tools imperative for deciphering and substantiating these occurrences.


Remarkably, the more advanced regions wield these tools while contending with fewer diseases.


This glaring incongruity leads to a regrettable cycle of underdiagnosis and underreporting, as the absence of requisite infrastructure and skilled personnel hampers the ability to authenticate and investigate outbreaks.”


Cadmas raises a red flag concerning the glaring shortage of veterinary experts across numerous Nigerian states.

He sheds light on a transformative initiative, the “reminiscing project,” a monumental $90 million endeavor undertaken by the World Bank.


Its primary aim is to bridge health disparities, both in the human and animal domains.


Cadmas is cautiously optimistic that this reservoir of funding could be judiciously tapped to combat virulent outbreaks, such as the pernicious threat of anthrax.


Delving further into the crux of the matter, he dissects a discernible dichotomy between the emphasis on human health versus the often-neglected sphere of animal health.

“In a stark shift, a staggering 70 to 75 percent of emergent diseases trace their origins to the animal kingdom. Maladies like Lassa fever, avian flu, Monkeypox, and the ominous specter of anthrax attest to this undeniable trend.


We are at the frontier of investigating zoonotic TB, a strain propelled by intimate interactions with infectious animals or the consumption of unpasteurized milk.”


With a resolute tone, Prof. Cadmas concludes by underscoring the intrinsic significance of relentless research, proactive awareness campaigns, and the continuous enhancement of veterinary services.


His clarion call reverberates through the corridors of academia and policy circles alike, as he strives to unravel the intricate web of Africa’s disease landscape and safeguard the continent’s collective well-being.

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