Study prepared by FAO Regional Office for Africa, October 2012
With over 1,150 bat species worldwide – representing about twenty percent of the
biodiversity of all mammalian species – they carry out important ecological and agricultural
functions such pollination and dispersion of seeds. And while many tropical plant species
depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds, it is true that in the tropics bats
can also be carriers of important diseases such as rabies, mokola, duvenhage, hendra or
nipah viruses. These are the ones we know of today, but some 40 years ago, all we knew
was about rabies. Is there more we should be doing?
This manual, “Investigating the role of bats in emerging zoonoses: Balancing ecology,
conservation and public health interests” is an introduction to the complex issues associated
with a One Health approach to understanding the biology and ecological importance of
bats, and the drivers of zoonotic disease emergence from bats to people. As an introduction,
this manual will provide a basis for understanding the need to balance natural resource
management, disease surveillance, prevention and control.
This guide is for everyone who wants to improve the feeding and nutrition of families in developing countries. It is for you if you are a health worker, nutritionist, agricultural extension worker or any other kind of development worker. It is for you if you are a member of a community group or a mother or other caregiver who wants to know more about family feeding. It might also be useful to anyone training health staff and community workers.
If you do not have a basic knowledge of nutrition and feel uncomfortable dealing with some technical parts of the guide, we suggest that you team up with local professionals so they can give you help when you need it. The purpose of the guide is to: provide the information needed to prepare good, nutritious and safe meals and feed each member of the family well; motivate people to adopt healthy eating habits.
The guide is divided into 11 topics that cover basic nutrition, family food security, meal planning, food hygiene and the special feeding needs of children, women and men, and of old, sick and malnourished people. Each Topic is set out in the same way and has two parts: Nutrition notes and Sharing this information. The Nutrition notes summarizes up-to-date knowledge on each topic. These can be used to prepare: face-to-face education sessions with families and other community-level groups (including teachers, care workers, traditional health workers, etc.); nutrition education print materials (such as booklets, brochures, flyers, posters) or material for other media (such as radio talks); training materials for different levels of staff in different sectors who deal with family nutrition.