One Health stories: telling tales from four years of research

Published on 28 April 2016

A multimedia album detailing how an ambitious One Health project is making a difference to people’s lives has been launched. It come at the end of four years of multidisciplinary research into animal-to-human disease transmission undertaken by IDS and 20 partner institutions.

The album draws together success stories from the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, an ambitious project led by Professor Melissa Leach, Director of IDS. The stories tell how:

  • Research in Kenya into the drivers of Rift Valley fever (RVF) led to the creation of detailed risk maps used by the Kenyan authorities in its disease monitoring and containment strategy late last year when an RVF epidemic threatened.
  • Work in Zimbabwe mapping the distribution of tsetse flies identified a new trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) prevention strategy both more effective and cheaper than that currently used.
  • Studying the ways in which people in Ghana interact with the bats they live among means policymakers and risk communicators can now be better equipped to develop and target public health messages about bat-borne diseases.

Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium

The Consortium researched the relationships between diseases transmitted from animals to people (zoonoses), ecosystems and wellbeing, focusing on henipavirus infection in Ghana, RVF in Kenya, Lassa fever in Sierra Leone, and trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It involved 21 partners in Africa, Europe and America and novel government-university/research institute partnerships, and it saw social scientists from STEPS (IDS/University of Sussex) working together with ecologists, epidemiologists, virologists and other natural scientists.

One Health recognises the interconnectedness of human and animal health with environmental health and, importantly, the integration of multiple disciplines and research approaches.

The Consortium was funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme.

Other One Health research in which IDS researchers are involved include two ZELS-funded projects: Livestock, Livelihoods and Health, which is exploring zoonoses in Tanzania in the context of major change, and the Myanmar Pig Partnership, looking at the links between zoonotic disease and changing pig production and consumption patterns in Myanmar.

See the outputs from the symposium One Health for the Real World: zoonoses, ecosystems and wellbeing held at the Zoological Society of London last month. 

Key contacts

Naomi Marks

Project Communications Manager


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