Using the One Health approach to engage stakeholders from the human and animal health sectors, GHD|EMPHNET is strengthening the diagnosis and prevention of brucellosis, a highly prevalent zoonotic disease posing a potential biothreat in the region.
In Jordan, EMPHNET along with the ministries of health and agriculture, as well as the Royal Medical Services, established active, laboratory-based surveillance of human and animal brucellosis using appropriate confirmatory testing in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health. They worked in three endemic areas: East Amman, Karak, and Mafraq.
For over three years, the project’s implementers invested heavily in training clinicians and veterinarians in case definition, clinical signs and symptoms, modes of transmission, and treatment. They also trained public health and veterinary laboratory workers on relevant diagnostics: Rose Bengal, Serum Agglutination Test, ELISA, which they introduced, fluorescence polarization assay, and PCR. One Health was taken a step further, as new communication protocols were established and adopted to enhance communication channels between field and laboratories and between animal and human health sectors.
The several years of work during this project were a success that was celebrated in a dissemination meeting held in Amman on June 14, 2022, under the patronage of HE Minister of Agriculture Khaled Hnaifat. There, the project’s major achievements were shared: enhanced communication channels between animal and human health sectors; improved laboratory diagnostic capacities at human and animal levels; increased awareness on brucellosis transmission, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; and the determination of brucellosis incidence rates, risk factors, and the bacteria genotypes.
At this meeting, the project’s implementers shared several recommendations. They called for support (1) to continue surveillance of brucellosis, (2) to maintain communication between the human and animal health sectors, (3) to raise community awareness, (4) to build the capacities of physicians and veterinarians, (5) to continue application of proper testing protocols, and (6) to evaluate the current brucellosis control strategy.