Nomadic pastoralist communities: An invisible frontier in health surveillance

AgHealth

Borana women with sheep and goats at a traditional deep well water source, Garba Tulla, Isiolo, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Fiona Flintan).

The effects of COVID-19 have gone undocumented in nomadic pastoralist communities across Africa, which are largely invisible to health surveillance systems despite their significance in the setting of emerging infectious disease.

A new research paper in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (online first 10 Sept 2020) exposes these landscapes as a ‘blind spot’ in global health surveillance, elaborates on the ways in which current health surveillance infrastructure is ill-equipped to capture pastoralist populations and the animals with which they coexist, and highlights the consequential risks of inadequate surveillance among pastoralists and their livestock to global health.

As a platform for further dialogue, the authors of the paper also present solutions to address this gap. These include the development of an integrated One Health surveillance system that links pastoralists, their livestock and overlapping wildlife populations with centralized disease reporting. Community-based syndromic surveillance and participatory epidemiology would also improve…

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The Best Probiotic? Fruits and Vegetables. – The Atlantic

The Best Probiotics An apple contains about 100 million bacteria—a more diverse range than any dietary supplement. JAMES HAMBLIN AUG 7, 2019 CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS In April, researchers at Tufts University posed a nutrition riddle. They compared people who took vitamin pills with people who got the same nutrients the old-fashioned way, by eating food. Tracking […]

The Best Probiotic? Fruits and Vegetables. – The Atlantic

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New study examines effectiveness of grassroots dog vaccination campaigns against rabies in Kenya

AgHealth

A pastor and his dog, Yabello, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Camille Hanotte).

World Zoonoses Day is commemorated on 6 July every year to mark the day in 1885 when Louis Pasteur successfully administered the first vaccine against rabies, a deadly zoonotic disease. The day is also an occasion to raise awareness of the risk of zoonoses, infectious diseases that can be spread between animals and people.

On this year’s World Zoonoses Day, we highlight a new research study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (July 2020) that reports on the development, implementation and effectiveness of grassroots mass dog vaccination campaigns against rabies conducted in 2015, 2016 and 2017 in Laikipia County, Kenya.

According to the World Health Organization, rabies kills tens of thousands of people every year, mainly in Asia and Africa. Globally, rabies causes an estimated cost of US$ 8.6 billion per year. Dog bites are responsible for 99% of all cases of human rabies. Therefore, vaccinating dogs is the most…

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Making livestock vaccination campaigns work for farmers in East Africa

AgHealth

Pastoralism

A gender-inclusive approach to community livestock vaccination can help address the different barriers faced by men and women farmers and may increase the uptake of livestock vaccines

Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) recently published a study on the uptake of the Rift Valley fever vaccine in Kenya and Uganda, incorporating gender in their analysis to better understand the different barriers that men and women farmers face in adopting and using livestock vaccines.

The barriers include the cost of vaccines, long distances to vaccination points, lack of information on vaccination campaigns and decision-making processes at the household level. Understanding these barriers can help veterinary workers design more effective community livestock vaccination programs of benefit to both men and women farmers.

‘Conducting gender analysis on livestock vaccine interventions can enable implementers to identify generic and gender-specific needs of their target beneficiaries’, says Edna Mutua, the lead author…

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Leveraging higher demand for livestock-derived foods to meet nutritional needs of the world’s poor — ILRI policies, institutions and livelihoods program

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New study finds that urban wildlife may be a significant vector for antimicrobial resistant bacteria

AgHealth

Researchers entering sampling data (photo credit: Zoonoses and Emerging Diseases).

In the cities of developing nations, where unregulated antibiotic use is
common and livestock jostle with people amid often unsanitary conditions,
scientists have found a potentially troubling vector for the dissemination of
antimicrobial resistant bacteria: wildlife.

The epidemiological study published in the June 2019 issue of the journal Lancet Planetary Health shows that urban wildlife in Nairobi carry a high burden of clinically relevant antimicrobial resistant bacteria. The research team included scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the University of Liverpool and the Kenya Medical Research Institute, among other research institutions.

Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly serious threat to public
health. Through misuse and overuse of antibacterial medication, more and more
of the bacterial diseases that were once easily treated with antibiotics have
become drug-resistant; these new strains of old germs require expensive and
prolonged treatment…

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Aligned to improve nutrition and health: Announcing A4NH 2015 annual report

AgHealth

Tezera a women farmer gets help from her 10 year old daughter in keeping her sheep Herding sheep in Menz, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet).

With four successful years completed in 2015, the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) is excited to draw on important lessons from past years, continue building a strong evidence base and plan for new projects, expanded research areas and opportunities to scale. The A4NH 2015 annual report, which details our latest progress and plans, is now available.

Read more on the A4NH website.

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Guide to Keeping Chickens – Housing Your Chickens

The Garden Smallholder

Keeping chickens is relatively trouble-free once you have a routine going, but it’s surprising how much there is to learn about keeping a small back garden or allotment flock. We decided to pour our knowledge and experience of chicken keeping into handy guides. If you’ve thought about keeping chickens or just recently acquired some, hopefully our guides will help your new venture into chicken keeping feel less daunting.

Brahmas

TOP TIP! It’s a good idea to check with your landlord if you’re renting to make sure poultry is permitted on the property, homeowners should check their title deeds. If all is well, a polite mention to neighbours if you have them. If you plan on keeping chickens on your allotment read the site rules or ask the committee if you’re unsure.

Guide to Keeping Chickens – Housing Your Chickens:

With the necessary permissions in place you should be asking yourself the…

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Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate

ILRI Clippings

File 20181023 169810 1mg5zk2.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Cattle grazing on public lands near Steens Mountain, Oregon (photo credit: BLM/Greg Shine, CC BY). 

Frank M. Mitloehner, University of California, Davis

As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it.

A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong, as I will show. And its persistence has led to false assumptions about the linkage between meat and climate change.

My research focuses on ways in which animal agriculture affects air quality and climate change. In my view, there are many reasons for either choosing animal protein or opting for a vegetarian selection. However, foregoing…

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The Women’s Empowerment in Livestock Index: Indicators for the start of a global, badly needed, conversation

ILRI news


Tanzanian farmer with her flock of chickens (photo by BRAC via Global Giving). The Women’s Empowerment in Livestock Index, piloted by ILRI in Tanzania, assesses the empowerment of women in production systems in which livestock are important.

Empowering women has been an implicit and explicit goal in sustainable development for decades. Full gender equality was made one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Sep 2015.

The case for focusing on women is as much about efficacy as equity: Not only are women, and rural women in particular, deprived relative to men, but helping them sets the next generation on the right foot, as women generally place greater emphasis than men on the nutritional and educational needs of their children. But whereas measuring progress towards meeting some of the Sustainable Development Goals is fairly…

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