Living Safely with Bats: A One Health Educational Resource

Cover artwork created by Ava Sullivan and Stephanie Martinez
Publié: 24 mars 2022
Dernière modification: 24 mars 2022
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As part of a public health communication strategy related to the identification of a novel filovirus in bats in West Africa, an initiative was launched to create a widely accessible One Health educational and risk communication resource for community outreach. A moderated picture book was developed, titled Living Safely with Bats, that now has been adapted, translated, and used in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia. This product includes text and artwork developed by a consortium of public health, veterinary health, conservation, bat, and disease ecology experts from 29 countries. The book is a collection of evidence-based prevention measures which encourage community members to live safely with bats and avoid exposure to potential zoonotic threats.


Afrique de l'Est et du Sud
Afrique du Nord
Afrique occidentale et centrale
Asie de l'Est
Asie de l'Ouest, Moyen-Orient
Asie du Nord et Centrale
Asie du Sud
Asie du Sud-Est
Ampleur de la mise en œuvre
Forêt de conifères tropicaux
Forêt de feuillus tropicaux
Prairie tropicale, savane, maquis
Terres cultivées
Écosystème agricole
Écosystèmes forestiers
Écosystémes des prairies
Accès et partage des avantages
Acteurs locaux
Braconnage et la criminalité environnementale
Gestion des espèces
L'intégration de la biodiversité
One Health
Sensibilisation et communications
Conservation des espèces et interventions axées sur l’approche « Une seule santé »
Communication des risques, engagement communautaire et changement de comportement
Une seule santé
Santé animale
Lien entre la biodiversité et la santé
Systèmes agro-alimentaires
Aspects sanitaires liés aux facteurs socio-économiques tels que la pauvreté, l'éducation, les structures de sécurité sociale, digitalisation, les systèmes de financement et le développement des capacités humaines
Maladies tropicales négligées, maladies infectieuses émergentes, maladies non- transmissibles, zoonoses, résistance aux agents antimicrobiens
Commerce des animaux sauvages et conflits homme-animaux sauvages
Dégradation des terres et des forêts
Perte de biodiversité
Récolte non durable, y compris la surpêche
Changements dans le contexte socio-culturel
Manque de sécurité alimentaire
Manque de sensibilisation du public et des décideurs
Mauvaise gouvernance et participation
Objectifs de développement durable
ODD 3 - Bonne santé et bien-être
ODD 12 - Consommation et production responsables
ODD 15 - Vie terrestre
Objectifs d’Aichi
Objectif 1: Sensibilisation accrue de la biodiversité
Objectif 2: Valeurs de la biodiversité intégrées
Objectif 4: Production et consommation durables
Objectif 13: Sauvegarde de la diversité génétique
Objectif 14: Services des écosystèmes
Objectif 18: Connaissances traditionnelles
Objectif 19: Partage de l'information et de la connaissance
Cadre de Sendai
1: Réduire nettement, au niveau mondial, d’ici à 2030, la mortalité due aux catastrophes.
5: Augmenter nettement, d’ici à 2020, le nombre de pays dotés de stratégies nationales et locales de réduction des risques de catastrophe.


Guinea | Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, ROC, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam


After the detection of Bombali ebolavirus (BOMV) in Sierra Leone and in response to identified knowledge gaps about zoonotic disease transmission risk during the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, an initiative was launched to create a One Health educational resource to help communities manage their exposure risk to pathogens found in bats. This resource aimed to facilitate informed discussions on ways to reduce contact and disease transmission risk and to include information of the beneficial ecosystem services that bats provide.


 Beneficiaries include communities living in close contact with bats, the bat populations themselves, and the surrounding wildlife and natural and built environment present in the communities. 

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

The presence of each of these building blocks was essential to ensuring their collective success – without local knowledge and the collaboration of technical experts, the risk communication demonstrated throughout this project would not have been effective or useful. A clear communication strategy between local actors and collaborators ensured all of the relevant information was captured and translated into comprehensive books for wide audiences. Each of these building blocks amplify each other, resulting in better health outcomes for people, wildlife, and their environment.  


Living Safely with Bats is an educational and risk communication resource that was developed with the goal of mitigating infectious disease spillover from bats through accessible risk communication. This educational tool which aims at addressing behavior, knowledge and attitudes around risky human-bat interfaces, is an example of essential primary prevention efforts towards pandemic prevention. Stopping spillover is the most cost effective and timely strategy for the pressing challenge of mitigating epidemic and pandemic risk to avoid crises like COVID-19, and offers under-utilized strategies compared to post-emergence strategies like vaccines and drug therapies. From school sessions to town halls, to government-facing conferences, the resource was used in countries throughout Asia and Africa as both the focal point of educational programs and as a supporting resource for larger One Health efforts. The book had increased impact as it is a low-barrier resource which is easily translated or used as a visual aid in instances where literacy is low.


Living Safely with Bats has been used as a risk communication and education resource across many communities. The booklet remains a flexible tool which can be adapted to local contexts.  Living Safely with Bats has been translated in over 15 languages, and also provides messaging which can be applied to diverse settings, from classrooms to townhalls.

In Cote d’ Ivoire, the PREDICT team conducted community outreach using the Living Safely with Bats and risk communication resource. Copies of the bat book were distributed by a community leader during a visit in April 2019, and a presentation of Living Safely with Bats was also conducted within the village via projector. In addition, during the joint FAO, IPCI, LANADA, DSV and PREDICT training mission, farmers were made aware of related community risks, such as safe livestock practices , the advantages of vaccinating animals, and the economic importance of rural livestock.

In Guinea, over 5,000 people in the at-risk communities where PREDICT surveillance and sampling activities occurred were engaged in risk communication efforts and educational outreach from October 2018 until the completion of the project in September 2019. In order to reach more of the general public, the PREDICT-Guinea team worked with rural radio stations in Guinea to broadcast an interactive podcast program entitled “Health for All”. The podcast was specifically focused on the messages in the Living Safely with Bats booklet and was broadcast in French along with 4 other major Forest Region dialects (Kissi, Toma, Guerzé and Malinké). The program based off of the messaging from ‘Living Safely with Bats’ was broadcast weekly for several months through the entire Forest Region on channels accessible to >1.9 million individuals. 


More stories about the Implementation of Living Safely with Bats can be found in PREDICT-2 Final Report:

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Ava Sullivan EcoHealth Alliance