Global $100 Million STOP Spillover Initiative to Prevent Emerging Zoonotic Diseases

October 7th, 2020 | News

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STOP Spillover will enhance the capacity of institutions in countries across Africa and Asia to understand factors that contribute to the risk of disease spread from animals to humans

BOSTON, October 7, 2020: JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., has been awarded a new program that will anticipate and mitigate threats posed by emerging zoonotic diseases. As a member of the consortium leading the Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover) Initiative, the new cooperative agreement from USAID will engage global experts on emerging infectious diseases and health information systems to identify and stop potential “spillover” of zoonotic diseases to humans. 

The USAID STOP Spillover program is an opportunity to enhance global understanding of the complex causes of the spread of viruses from animals to humans and to augment sustainable national capacities in surveillance, risk analysis, and behavior change. The program’s vision is for priority countries across Africa and Asia to gain critical knowledge about their spillover ecosystems, and to refine and use that knowledge to reduce the risk of zoonotic viral spillover and spread.

Tufts University leads the five-year, $100 million project in collaboration with JSI and Tetra Tech and a wide consortium of wildlife and human-disease experts. JSI brings expertise in health information systems strengthening, digital health, social behavior change, operational support, and monitoring and evaluation.

According to USAID’s press release, STOP Spillover will “play a significant role in the implementation of the U.S. Government’s Global Health Security Strategy, including support for the Global Health Security Agenda.” 

The  STOP Spillover consortium convenes a cross-disciplinary team of some of the world’s most renown wildlife and human-disease experts, including the Africa One Health University Network; the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University; Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh; Internews Network; South East Asia One Health University Network; the University of California at Los Angeles; the University of Glasgow; the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and the University of Washington.

It is estimated that more than 60 percent of emerging infectious diseases are passed from animals to humans. Zoonoses can be caused by a range of disease pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. The CDC notes that zoonotic diseases are very common in the United States and around the world.

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