HALI Co-Principal Investigators Erickson and Kazwala present at the GL-CRSP End of Program Conference

HALI Co-Principal Investigators, Professors Jon Erickson of the University of Vermont and Rudovick Kazwala of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, presented findings from the HALI project during the Agriculture, Health and  Nutrition theme of the Global Livestock CRSP End of Program Conference “From Problem Models to Solutions” on June 17th 2009 in Naivasha Kenya.  The presentation was an engaging look into HALI’s research and programming, especially the socio-economic and livestock sampling components.  Slides from the presentation are posted below with audio, HALI’s first Slidecast!

Questions from the conference are listed below, and the full presentation will be included as an article in the upcoming GL-CRSP End of Program Conference Proceedings, to be released in early 2010…

Questions

What did you mean by the environment, as to where the diseases come from?  Why?

The environment largely concerns water, but also other vectors, like flies, wildlife and so on.  As to why we are seeing a resurgence of disease due to a water scarcity, we need to consider the wetlands, which serve as a sponge. If the wetlands were not there, the water would flow out and dry up the entire ecosystem.  During the dry season the water slowly trickles out of the wetlands and provides water for the ecosystem.  And so one of the driving factors is the effect of grazing pressure on compromising these wetlands.  After the removal of pastoralists from these areas, they’ve seen a rebound in wetlands and also in water provision during the dry season.

Given evidence for the linkages, how do you propose to tackle them?

We propose to tackle them through a One Medicine [One Health] approach.  The concept is to create a bridge across the three populations: veterinary teams, medical teams, and other teams integrated to deal with the questions.  The diseases [zoonotic diseases] in the lab are all the same diseases.  Teams need to work in the same environment and in the same lab on the same diseases.  We need better integration and common interest.  This is the case of the One Health approach.  Other things to look at are landscape and bio-regulatory function.  Eco system services for example are very critical in this role, and water and health are very intertwined at the landscape scale.

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