Mira Ziolo H.BSc. DVM
Doctoral Candidate, Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program, UBC, Consultant in Resilience and Adaptability at Wildlife-Human Interfaces, Consulting Wildlife Veterinarian, Emergency and Relief Veterinarian
A crucial root cause of zoonotic disease emergence is multispecies inequity: the combination of human and animal inequity, that, if not addressed, will result in increased zoonotic spill-overs with devastating consequences for global health. With your emphasis on equity, practitioners and researchers in Global Health, Planetary Health and ecohealth among others are well positioned to address this challenge. Multispecies equity deserves to be considered in all thought and conversations as we move forward with the hope to build better health.
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- Zoonotic spillover events (emerging/novel infectious diseases) have been increasing since the early 2000’s and will continue to do so if we don’t fundamentally change our way of living with our planet.
- The reasons for this increasing rate are more complex than just (a) simple biomedical factors and (b) spatial factors of animals coming in closer contact with human populations.
- Environmental destruction places tremendous stress on animals, which makes them more susceptible to disease and shedding of pathogens usually kept in check by healthy immune systems.
- This stress is an inequity that is also felt by marginalized human populations in poor health.
- It is at the intersections of marginalized populations-both animal and human- where neglected disease circulate and novel pathogens emerge. These are zones of shared inequity and stress: human and animal
- A sole reliance on high tech solutions to reduce pathogen emergence is missing the root cause of spillover events.
- We need to address the shared inequities in health connecting human and non-human equity to a shared multispecies equity.
- Equity questions are not emphasized in current efforts to protect wildlife and human populations.
- Global Health, Ecohealth and Planetary Health recognize the importance of equity in health outcomes- and are well positioned to address this
More about connecting multi-species and human equity
- Merged presentations to Learning for Planetary Health April 15th, 2020, and to the Institute for Global Solutions April 23rd, 2020 [coming soon]
- Basic infographic: The Iceberg of Zoonotic Disease Spillover. [coming soon]
Please send any comments and questions to Mira at: firstname.lastname@example.org