Porcine cysticercosis is an infection of pigs caused by the larval stage of Taenia solium, a tapeworm that causes taeniosis in humans. The disease is common in developing countries and is a serious public health risk. Cysticercosis implicates significant economic losses, both in pig production and its impact on human health causing severe headaches and seizures. Cysticercosis control strategies in developing countries have been limited by a lack of available intervention tools and poor socioeconomic and sanitary conditions. Consequently, the intervention strategies to prevent and control cysticercosis must be on health education engaging the communities and creating public awareness. Enhancing basic conditions such as hygiene has an important effect on reducing the risk of transmission. In addition some very simple but effective changes in people’s day-to-day practices such as use of latrines and keeping pigs in pens would stop the life cycle of the disease and considerably reduce the risk of cysticercosis transmission. The need for political will and resources are basic requirements in order to control not only cysticercosis but also other endemic zoonotic diseases. ICONZ and ADVANZ are two One Health neglected zoonotic diseases projects, funded by the European Commission through its 7th framework program. Part of University of Copenhagen’s tasks in these projects is to develop an improved advocacy tool for teaching about cysticercosis, including information on how to diagnose and treat the disease in both pigs and humans, its impact on people’s livelihood, and possible control and intervention strategies. The advocacy tool will be developed as a USB flash drive, with information targeted at three levels: knowledge relevant to the laymen in the villages, information for supporting practitioners; MD’s in health centres, veterinary and agricultural extension officers and pig traders. Furthermore there will be a policy brief aimed at the key decision makers at ministry level.
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8th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health and 5th Conference of the Scandinavian-Baltic Society for Parasitology, 2013