Health Risks Associated with Urban Wildmeat in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria
Wild meat is a vital source of animal protein for many communities around the world. However, trade in and consumptive use of wild animals poses several health risks to the human population, in addition to threatening global biodiversity. Since wild meat is mostly traded informally, and through complex food supply chains, understanding the potential impacts it may have on public health is notably difficult. This is so because the clandestinely practiced act has no clear food safety guidelines such as those governing foods from crops or farm animals. Several studies have documented the existence of pathogens in wild meat, as well as disease outbreaks associated with handling and or consumption of wild animals or wild meat. However, little is known about risk of exposure of humans to these pathogens along the wild meat value chains (VC). Few studies have conducted risk assessment regarding wild meat handling and consumption, but such studies did not use a VC approach for risk analysis. Regardless, data from mapping wild meat VC, even though limited, have been used to identify conservation entry points in West, Central and East Africa. It is possible that risk analysis conducted through a VC approach can help identify critical control and entry points for diseases into the human population. Our project therefore intends to use a VC approach to estimate the risk of exposure to humans of the pathogens along the wild meat VC in Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria. Data on the structure and characteristics of the wild meat VC in these cities will continue to be vital in informing conservation policies. Most importantly, the findings from this study will enhance global understanding of existing food hazards of wild meat in urban centres, and probability of exposure to such hazards at the VC nodes. Such information is vital in identifying critical disease control points thus enhancing local, national and global capacity for disease outbreak prevention and control.