Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa: ecosystems, livestock/wildlife, health and wellbeing
The Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa was a research programme designed to deliver much-needed, cutting-edge science on the relationships between ecosystems, zoonoses, health and wellbeing, with the objective of helping people move out of poverty and promoting social justice. The project investigated whether disease regulation as an ecosystem service is affected by changes in biodiversity, climate and land use, with differential impacts on people's health and well-being.
Research focused on four emerging or re-emerging zoonotic diseases in four diverse African ecosystems, with an innovative, holistic approach marrying the natural and social sciences to build an evidence base designed to inform global and national policy players seeking effective, integrated approaches to control and check disease outbreaks. There were five case studies:
- Henipavirus infection in Ghana
- Rift Valley fever in Kenya
- Lassa fever in Sierra Leone
- Trypanosomiasis in Zambia
- Trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe
The Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium comprised 21 partners spanning Africa, Europe and the US, and included researchers from the environmental, biological, social, political, and human and animal health sciences. It was an integrated multidisciplinary – or One Health – approach to understanding animal-to-human (zoonotic) disease transmission. A main objective was to generate evidence and advance understandings of the complex relationships between zoonoses, ecosystems and wellbeing to inform effective poverty and public health interventions.
The key questions the study sought to explore were:
- What kinds of ecological changes (in ,for example, biodiversity, vegetation and habitat, and water) are affecting possible animal-to-human disease spillover?
- What uses of ecosystems by different people bring them into contact with possible disease risk?
- How are these local dynamics affected by wider changes, such as those in climate, land use and urbanisation.
- How do different people and agencies understand and represent these dynamics and what are the implications for public health policy?
In this way, the Consortium sought to provide a much-needed evidence base and set of practical approaches to make a One Health agenda work in ways that also promote sustainable poverty reduction and social justice.
- Zoonoses: from Panic to Planning - Rapid Response Briefing
- Video of project PI Melissa Leach talking about the research
- Project's homepage- STEPS centre website
- Project leaflet
- Presentation - Estimating the human contribution of human to human transmission to Lassa Fever
- Blog - Fighting the fly: drivers of disease in Zambezi valley
- Blog - 3Ps for global disease challenges: how to build fruitful conversations
- Workshop report - Development of a protocol for the Rift Valley fever case study
- Policy Paper - The Politics of Delivering One Health
- IDS Briefing - Zoonoses: From Panic To Planning
- Situational Analysis Zambia
- Situational Analysis Sierra Leone
- Situational Analysis Ghana
- Situational Analysis Kenya