The World Health Organisation defines a zoonosis as ‘an infectious disease that has jumped from a non-human animal to humans. Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents and can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment.’
 Definitions drawn from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zoonoses
The Zoonotic Disease Action Package is a network of technical experts and leaders from countries and non-governmental organizations that seek to advance global zoonotic disease capacity under the auspices of the Global Health Security Agenda’s (GHSA) global effort to strengthen the world’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats, in support of various international instruments and agreements including the International Health Regulations (2005).
The ZDAP network works in collaboration with internal and external technical experts across the spectrum of health security using the One Health approach to enable progress towards the overall GHSA 2024 target, which seeks to advance the capacities of 100 countries to a “demonstrated” level (JEE score of 4.0) across five technical areas.
As defined by the One Health High Level Expert Panel (ref), One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems. It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent.
The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines, and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for healthy food, water, energy, and air, taking action on climate change and contributing to sustainable development.
Key underlying principles including
- equity between sectors and disciplines;
- sociopolitical and multicultural parity (the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities) and inclusion and engagement of communities and marginalized voices;
- socioecological equilibrium that seeks a harmonious balance between human–animal–environment interaction and acknowledging the importance of biodiversity, access to sufficient natural space and resources, and the intrinsic value of all living things within the ecosystem;
- stewardship and the responsibility of humans to change behavior and adopt sustainable solutions that recognize the importance of animal welfare and the integrity of the whole ecosystem, thus securing the well-being of current and future generations; and
- transdisciplinarity and multisectoral collaboration, which includes all relevant disciplines, both modern and traditional forms of knowledge and a broad representative array of perspectives.
ZDAP aims to support its members to develop or strengthen their capacity to prepare, prevent, detect, and respond to zoonotic disease threats, using a One Health approach by:
- Providing a forum for collaboration and sharing of experiences and expertise on zoonotic disease to inform members future planning and actions
- Sharing examples of good practices
- Supporting training and skills development of members
- Identifying and sharing information on the practical application of new strategies, research, and methodologies
The workplan developed with consultation of members includes activities to help meet the ZDAP priorities and support progress towards the GHSA 2024 target. Core activities include:
- Sharing of experiences and expertise on preparedness, prevention, surveillance, risk assessment, response and recovery from zoonotic disease
- Sharing examples of good practices of policy, guidance, planning, action to zoonotic disease
- Identifying and supporting training and skills development of members
- Identifying, discussing and sharing information on the practical application of new strategies, research, and methodologies
- Build a network of international colleagues with a shared focus on improving zoonotic disease
- Learn from members experiences and good practices of zoonotic disease prevention and control
- Develop opportunities to work collaboratively on zoonotic diseases using a One Health transdisciplinary and multisectoral approach
- Enhance skill sets through learning and development opportunities
- Improved situational awareness on zoonotic diseases
Members are expected to contribute to the strategic objectives to advance zoonotic disease capacity towards the WHO JEE target of demonstrated or sustainable capacity for zoonotic diseases. At ZDAP we encourage an inclusive, collaborative, and effective way of working, as part of member participation and contributions, members are expected to engage in meetings, communications, and planning, including information sharing on current zoonotic disease incidents, technical expertise, guidance, and examples of good practices to support other members.
Previous ZDAP chairs during the GHSA 2024 period include:
- 2023: The United Kingdom
- 2022: The United Kingdom
- 2021: Indonesia