Farming scene in the highlands of Ethiopia (ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has focused global attention on the interconnectedness of people, animals and the environment and how this links to the spread of zoonotic diseases, two postdoctoral scientists affiliated with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are among five recipients of this year’s Soulsby Fellowships, awarded to support early career researchers in human or veterinary medicine working on One Health projects. 

One Health can be defined as the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

The two postdoctoral scientists, Lisa Cavalerie from the University of Liverpool and Mark Nanyingi from the University of Liverpool and the University of Nairobi, are collaborators in the One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa project, a multidisciplinary international partnership that is working to improve the health and wealth of people in the Horn of Africa through One Health research.

Lisa Cavalerie, a veterinary epidemiologist, will study the benefits and risks of livestock ownership to maternal health in women in Ethiopia. She says: ‘The aim of the study will be to develop sustainable livestock health management to improve both maternal and child health.’

Mark Nanyingi, an infectious disease epidemiologist, will investigate the presence of Rift Valley fever virus in people, livestock and mosquitoes in Kenya. He aims to develop a human-animal integrated surveillance system which will inform national policy- and decision-making in the event of outbreaks. ‘This study will enhance our understanding of the geographical risk, distribution and genetic diversity of the virus,’ says Nanyingi.

We congratulate them on their awards and wish them all the best as they undertake their research projects.

Read more about the Soulsby Foundation and the other 2020 Soulsby Fellows.

Photo credit: Farming scene in the highlands of Ethiopia (ILRI/Apollo Habtamu)

Hung Nguyen-Viet receives honorary professorship from Hanoi University of Public Health

Hung Nguyen-Viet (right) receives his award of honorary professor at the Hanoi University of Public Health. Also pictured are Le Nhan Tuan, Director of the HIV/AIDS Prevention Center of Hanoi (left) and Hoang Van Minh, Vice Rector of Hanoi University of Public Health (centre) (photo credit: ILRI/Hung Nguyen-Viet).

Hung Nguyen-Viet, a senior scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), was awarded an honorary professorship by the Hanoi University of Public Health in recognition of his contribution to teaching and scientific research. The award was presented at a ceremony that took place on 18 Nov 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Hung holds a PhD in Life and Environmental Sciences from Besançon, France. His current research focuses on the link between health and agriculture, food safety, and infectious and zoonotic diseases with an emphasis on the use of risk assessment for food safety management with an integrative approach (One Health and ecohealth). He is also ILRI’s acting regional representative for East and Southeast Asia.

Congratulations, Hung!

Delia Grace in ILRI's Guwahati office

Delia Grace, veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

We are pleased to congratulate Delia Grace on being announced as the winner of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Trevor Blackburn Award in recognition of her multiple outstanding contributions to animal health, animal welfare and food safety in Africa and Asia.

In particular, she was recognized for her work with community health programs and research into public health and food safety; her pioneering work highlighting the benefits and risks of the engagement of women in livestock farming in developing countries; and the delivery of training and studies in numerous African countries.

The announcement was made today, 25 September 2014, during the awards ceremony at the BVA Members’ Day in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Grace is a veterinary epidemiologist with nearly 20 years’ experience in developing countries. She leads the Food Safety and Zoonoses program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Agriculture-Associated Diseases theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH).

She has previously worked in various capacities and settings including general practice in Lancashire; voluntary service in rural Bangladesh; exploring the roles of community animal health systems in eastern Africa; undertaking applied research addressing the enormity of trypanosomiasis control in West Africa; advising the World Health Organization and high-level policy engagement at national and regional levels in Africa and Asia.

On learning that she was to receive the Trevor Blackburn Award for 2014, Grace commented:

“I am delighted to receive this award. I have been working since 1995 on animal health problems and their solutions in different countries of Africa and Asia.

“Around one billion poor people depend on livestock for their livelihoods and livestock disease is one of their greatest concerns and constraints. As much as a third of the value of livestock is lost each year from largely preventable diseases.

“British and Irish veterinarians have had a long history of working overseas to improve animal health and I am proud to be part of this tradition.”

Iain Wright, ILRI’s interim deputy director general, also expressed his delight upon hearing the good news.

He said: “Delia is recognized as a global leader in research on food safety and zoonoses in developing countries and is a strong supporter of the ‘One Health’ approach.”

“Having worked with community animal health care workers, she appreciates the realities of delivering animal health care services on the ground and brings this experience to bear in ensuring that her research is practical and relevant.”

The Trevor Blackburn Award recognizes contributions to animal health and welfare in a developing country by BVA members and was set up in memory of Trevor Blackburn who was president of the BVA 1984 to 1985, Commonwealth Veterinary Association 1988 to 1991 and World Veterinary Association 1991 to 1995.

View some of Delia Grace’s research publications here