A Transnational African Zoonosis Education campaign: Raising awareness for wildlife trade-linked health risks
Awareness campaigns aiming to reduce demand for wildlife and bushmeat are typically limited to conservation and legal aspects, while the dangers of zoonotic diseases are neglected.
Our broad-based campaign aims to change behaviour towards wildlife with a new approach. The goal is to reduce the risks of zoonotic spill overs in five relevant African countries by creating public awareness on the ground for human health risks, linked to wildlife trade, and promoting the One-Health approach. We use and expand the existing experience and structures of education programs at five rescue centres, under different conditions (such as consumed species range, rural vs. urban target consumer groups, and responsible government agencies). By using a wide range of communication tools the project aims to increase awareness about potential health risks from contact with wildlife, to discourage hunting, trade and wildlife consumption, to suggest alternatives, and motivate responsible government agencies to initiate necessary actions. Creating a consortium of rescue centres and learning from each other will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, resulting in timely adjustments of education tools, and the development of new strategies – including activating influential stakeholders as multiplicators.
As a result, we develop optimised campaign tools in a modular system that can be used individually or as a package also in other countries and regions.