To mark this year's World Zoonoses Day, Shyam Bishen - Head of Health and Healthcare at the World Economic Forum - calls for strengthened international public-private collaboration between key stakeholders of the healthcare sector to mitigate and counter the varied and growing health risks posed by pathogens jumping from animals to humans.
Zoonotic diseases pose a critical threat to global health security. An estimated 60% of known infectious diseases and up to 75% of new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in origin. Even before the current pandemic, it was estimated that zoonoses are responsible for 2.5 billion cases of human illness and 2.7 million human deaths worldwide each year. Effective mitigation of the impact of endemic and novel zoonotic diseases requires multisectoral collaboration.
This is why the World Economic Forum is working with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Africa CDC Pathogen Genomic Institute to build public-private support for an international surveillance system that will help identify pathogens through strengthened monitoring and data sharing mechanisms to prevent, diagnose, and treat zoonotic diseases more effectively.