Typical mixed crop-livestock farming of western Kenya

A typical mixed crop-livestock farming homestead in western Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Charlie Pye-Smith).

Continuing changes to livestock production systems in Kenya and elsewhere to satisfy increased demand for livestock products affect the risk of zoonoses and other infectious diseases. The most important changes are the commercialisation and intensification of what was previously subsistence farming, changes in trading patterns (e.g. the distances that livestock and their products are transported), and changes in favoured breeds. There is, therefore, a pressing need for good surveillance of zoonoses in order to establish their true burden, how that is changing and to support control measures.

Researchers from the United Kingdom (UK) and Kenya are joining forces with Kenyan government departments to provide evidence that an enhanced surveillance system can contribute to improving public health in a cost-effective manner. They will achieve this by increasing awareness of zoonoses, improving diagnostic support (including developing new diagnostic assays), enhancing the recording, storage, analysis, interpretation and sharing of data, and bringing about closer integration between the human and animal health sectors.

During the five year project researchers working in western Kenya will closely monitor, model and optimise the enhanced surveillance system’s performance, and undertake a comprehensive economic analysis of the activities. The evidence will contribute to a better understanding and anticipation of changes in zoonotic disease burdens, and to recommendations for effective interventions.

The research will also provide a platform for Kenyan public and animal health workers to get hands-on training and to become familiar with a multidisciplinary One Health approach to surveillance, creating a cadre of individuals with first-hand experience of this way of working.

Timeline
Start: 1 August 2015 | End: 31 December 2019

Country/Region
Kenya

Principal investigator
Eric Fèvre

Partners
International Livestock Research Institute
Kenya Medical Research Institute
Royal Veterinary College
University of Edinburgh
University of Liverpool
University of Nairobi
University of Nottingham

Funder
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, UK
Economic and Social Sciences Research Council, UK
Medical Research Council, UK
Natural Environment Research Council, UK
UK Department for International Development

External link
Project website

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