Informatics progress of the Global Burden of Animal Diseases programme towards data for One Health

Kassy Raymond, Nelia Ben Sassi, Grace Patterson, Ben Huntington, Jonathan Rushton, Deb Stacey, and Theresa Bernardo of the GBADs programme have had the following publication published in The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Animal Health Data Management (Scientific & Technical Review, vol 42, 2023). You can read it here

The Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) programme will provide data-driven evidence that policy-makers can use to evaluate options, inform decisions, and measure the success of animal health and welfare interventions. The GBADs’ Informatics team is developing a transparent process for identifying, analysing, visualising and sharing data to calculate livestock disease burdens and drive models and dashboards. These data can be combined with data on other global burdens (human health, crop loss, foodborne diseases) to provide a comprehensive range of information on One Health, required to address such issues as antimicrobial resistance and climate change. The programme began by gathering open data from international organisations (which are undergoing their own digital transformations). Efforts to achieve an accurate estimate of livestock numbers revealed problems in finding, accessing and reconciling data from different sources over time. Ontologies and graph databases are being developed to bridge data silos and improve the findability and interoperability of data. Dashboards, data stories, a documentation website and a Data Governance Handbook explain GBADs data, now available through an application programming interface. Sharing data quality assessments builds trust in such data, encouraging their application to livestock and One Health issues. Animal welfare data present a particular challenge, as much of this information is held privately and discussions continue regarding which data are the most relevant. Accurate livestock numbers are an essential input for calculating biomass, which subsequently feeds into calculations of antimicrobial use and climate change. The GBADs data are also essential to at least eight of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.