Neglected zoonotic diseases in Nigeria: role of the public health veterinarian
Zoonotic diseases accounts for about 75% of emerging infectious disease and can be devastating to both human and animal health globally. A subset of zoonotic diseases is referred to as "neglected zoonotic diseases - NZDs" as they mainly affect poor populations who live in close proximity to domestic or wild animals often in areas where access to health and adequate sanitary facilities are not available. Furthermore, underestimation of the burden of NZD has continually led to its further neglect in least developed countries such as Nigeria. Controlling zoonotic infections including NZDs in animals is crucial in reducing human infections. Veterinarians provides an understanding of the epidemiology of infectious diseases in animal population and are therefore integral for the overall reduction in global burden of NZDs worldwide. Due to the current lack of and in some cases weak involvement of Veterinarians in policy issues related to zoonotic diseases, there is need to elucidate their importance in NZDs control in Nigeria. This review therefore summarises the neglected zoonotic diseases so far documented in Nigeria and also highlight the important role of the Veterinarian in their prevention and control within both human and animal population. Important recommendations to strengthen the role of the public health Veterinarian for sustainable control of NZDs were made.