A new veterinarian joins the WHO advisory group on new pathogens

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Veterinarian Gladys Kalema Zikusoka, executive director of the NGO Conservation through Public Health. Image: CTPH.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced two new additions to the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origin of New Pathogens (SAGO). Currently, the group was made up of veterinarians Jean-Claude Manuguerra , Marion Koopmans and Abdullah Assiri , along with 23 other experts, with the mission of continuing to investigate how COVID-19 emerged, among other diseases.

WHO ensures that the choice is based on the personal capacities of the candidates to represent the wide range of disciplines relevant to emerging and re-emerging pathogens. “When evaluating the submitted applications, the possibility of achieving an adequate distribution of technical knowledge, geographical representation and gender balance was considered,” they indicate.

Thus, after considering all the applications submitted to the WHO, two new faces will be added to make a total of 28 experts. The biosecurity inspector at the Public Health Agency of Canada Normand Labbe and the veterinarian Gladys Kalema Zikusoka .

Kalema Zikusoka is the founder and CEO of an NGO called Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), which aims to prevent disease among people and gorillas .

In 1996 she started in the first veterinary unit at Uganda Wildlife Authority, the government agency charged with managing wildlife in Uganda. She later conducted a study on parasites in chimpanzees in the Budongo forest and parasites and bacteria in gorillas in Bwindi, “this led me to more paths in conservation, where we began to look at other human-related threats that affect gorilla habitat as well. , and now we are actively promoting community-based activities, ”says the veterinarian herself.

“I like to try new ways to approach conservation issues and put my research results into practice and our CTPH model based on veterinary research and case studies is a new One Health approach that I have been working on since 2003 when the NGO was established, ”she adds.

The SAGO will have the mission of guiding the WHO on the next steps that should be taken to understand the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, publishing an independent evaluation of all the scientific and technical conclusions available in the world.

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  • Peter Woodsford
    Posted at 20:01h, 29 January Reply

    The article has Dr. Gladys gender wrong – it should refer to ‘she’, not ‘he’!!
    A very important new role, Congratulations
    Sue and Peter Woodsford, Cambridge UK.

    • CTPH
      Posted at 10:06h, 17 March Reply

      Thank you very much Sue and Peter for noticing this.

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