Animal-to-human infections (zoonoses) are rapidly increasing. Together with the decreasing efficacy of antibiotics this becomes a major threat to global health. Public communication and information provision on this subject, and cooperation between the various professional groups in healthcare (‘One Health’) are all areas where improvement is needed.
A proposal made by the University of Twente was recently assessed by ZonMw as ‘good to excellent and very relevant’ and was awarded with a grant. This proposal entails a research and development project incorporating social science, technology and public health. Project leader dr. Lisette van Gemert-Pijnen: “We are delighted to have received this subsidy of almost half a million Euros. We strive to effectively improve cooperation between human, veterinary and public health care.”
One of the developments is an interactive, online dashboard ‘eZOON’, which is based on four sub-studies and is being created in consultation with national institutes. This is used to: (a) support tailored health and risk communication, (b) enhance knowledge and skills of the public, health professionals (Municipal Health Service – GGD) and professional groups (such as vets, doctors, cattle farmers), and (c) improve training, instruction and decision-making by professionals.
The aim is that this will eventually lead to prevention of (new) infections, reduce health problems, disease and death as a result of zoonoses and to lower health care expenditure.
Source: University of Twente