One health research in Northern Tanzania – challenges and progress

Ladbury, G. et al. (2017) One health research in Northern Tanzania – challenges and progress. East African Health Research Journal, 1(1), pp. 8-18. (doi: 10.24248/EAHRJ-D-16-00379)

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East Africa has one of the world’s fastest growing human populations—many of whom are dependent on livestock—as well as some of the world’s largest wildlife populations. Humans, livestock, and wildlife often interact closely, intimately linking human, animal, and environmental health. The concept of One Health captures this interconnectedness, including the social structures and beliefs driving interactions between species and their environments. East African policymakers and researchers are recognising and encouraging One Health research, with both groups increasingly playing a leading role in this subject area. One Health research requires interaction between scientists from different disciplines, such as the biological and social sciences and human and veterinary medicine. Different disciplines draw on norms, methodologies, and terminologies that have evolved within their respective institutions and that may be distinct from or in conflict with one another. These differences impact interdisciplinary research, both around theoretical and methodological approaches and during project operationalisation. We present experiential knowledge gained from numerous ongoing projects in northern Tanzania, including those dealing with bacterial zoonoses associated with febrile illness, foodborne disease, and anthrax. We use the examples to illustrate differences between and within social and biological sciences and between industrialised and traditional societies, for example, with regard to consenting procedures or the ethical treatment of animals. We describe challenges encountered in ethical approval processes, consenting procedures, and field and laboratory logistics and offer suggestions for improvement. While considerable investment of time in sensitisation, communication, and collaboration is needed to overcome interdisciplinary challenges inherent in One Health research, this can yield great rewards in paving the way for successful implementation of One Health projects. Furthermore, continued investment in African institutions and scientists will strengthen the role of East Africa as a world leader in One Health research.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sharp, Professor Jo and Haydon, Professor Daniel and Lembo, Dr Tiziana and Zadoks, Professor Ruth and Halliday, Dr Jo and Ladbury, Georgia Ann Frances and Allan, Dr Kathryn and Ndyetabura, Mr Theonest and De Glanville, Dr William and Davis, Dr Alicia and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Forde, Dr Taya
Authors: Ladbury, G., Allan, K. J., Cleaveland, S., Davis, A., de Glanville, W. A., Forde, T. L., Halliday, J. E.B., Haydon, D. T., Kibiki, G., Kiwelu, I., Lembo, T., Maro, V., Mmbaga, B. T., Ndyetabura, T., Sharp, J., Thomas, K., and Zadoks, R. N.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:East African Health Research Journal
Publisher:East African Health Research Commission
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Ladbury et al.
First Published:First published in East African Health Research Journal 1(1): 8-18
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
568221Impact, ecology and social determinants of bacterial zoonoses in northern TanzaniaSarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J010367/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
628341Hazards associated with zoonotic enteric pathogens in emerging livestock meat pathways (HAZEL)Ruth ZadoksBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L017679/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
627871Social, economic and environmental drivers of zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ)Sarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018926/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
628321Molecular epidemology of brucellosis in northern TanzaniaDaniel HaydonBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018845/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
684201Molecular epidemiology of Bacillus anthracis: novel data and techniques for local surveillance in TanzaniaRoman BiekEuropean Commission (EC)659223RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
660521A One-Health approach to dissecting the diverse zoonotic causes of non-malaria febrile illnessDaniel HaydonThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)AA130131RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
606412MRC Doctoral Training Grant 2012-16Margaret MacLeanMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/K500847/1RI CARDIOVASCULAR & MEDICAL SCIENCES