HALI is very proud of the research and outreach activities conducted in the Ruaha Ecosystem on tuberculosis (TB). This research, investigating tuberculosis in wildlife and livestock, and the accompanying health impacts of TB on households and livelihoods in the Ruaha Ecosystem, is now entering a second phase: characterizing TB prevalence and the disease transmission dynamics between humans and animals among the HALI study communities and greater Ruaha region.
Through a collaborative partnership with the University of California – Davis, University of California – San Francisco, University of Warwick, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), and the Tanzania National Medical Research Institute (NIMR), HALI is planning to initiate medical testing for TB among the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in the Pawaga and Idodi Divisions of Iringa District, while also testing their livestock and other potential environmental reservoirs for TB, like wildlife and soil.
The project, funded by the U.S. National Institutes for Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will be part of the International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) Program. In early October, investigators from the new collaborative veterinary/medical HALI team and representatives from NIAID visited HALI’s home in Idodi and Pawaga to better understand the project’s context, gain insight for planning, and prepare for the project’s initiation later this year.
During the trip, the team visited two HALI households to hear from pastoralists and introduce the new medical research phase, news that received a warm welcome in an area with limited access to medical services and treatment. The trip also brought together HALI Lead Principal Investigator Professor Rudovick Kazwala from SUA, and the Director of NIMR Dr. Sayoki Mfinanga, who helped to formulate the concept of One Health during collaborative investigations that integrated medical and veterinary research on tuberculosis among livestock keepers in northern Tanzania.