AHEAD Update – July 2009

Dear AHEAD Colleagues:

*I should again note that if you wish to be removed from this e-mail list please just let me know. My hope is to keep parties interested in Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development up-to-date on relevant developments, but I certainly understand if anyone wants to opt out of receiving such messages. Updates are also posted (and archived) on the AHEAD website at www.wcs-ahead.org, which also features a new AHEAD Update 'sign-up' feature on the home page. Please note that URL hotlinks for many of the organizations mentioned below can be found at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/links.html.

If you would like to post an item in the next AHEAD Update, please just send it to me- thanks! 


The ‘AHEAD Beyond Boundaries' journal awards are for researchers and managers conducting promising work at the interface between wildlife health, domestic animal health, and human health and livelihoods. Wiley-Blackwell generously sponsors the awards: one-year electronic subscriptions to the journal "Transboundary and Emerging Diseases" (as described in previous AHEAD Updates at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/newsarchive.html and at http://www.wiley.com/bw/aims.asp?ref=1865-1674&site=1). The awards are presented to colleagues working in developing nations to make a difference on interface diseases and related One Health issues. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to everyone who sent in nominations!

The nine winners, accompanied by background comments provided by their nominees, are (in random order):

*Dr. Folorunso Oludayo Fasina, National Veterinary Research Institute, Nigeria
Dr. Fasina is a dynamic young researcher with significant work in the field of transboundary and emerging diseases, especially African swine fever, highly pathogenic avian influenza and foot and mouth disease. He has studied at the University of Ibadan and the University of Pretoria, and is currently a PhD candidate at Utrecht University. He has worked with many researchers of international repute as evidenced by his publications, many of which can be accessed online in international peer-reviewed journals. Furthermore, he is an inspiration to many young researchers in the Institute. His work cuts across One Health issues, and he has published in this arena in "The Lancet" and "Veterinaria Italiana." He is currently studying the dynamics of avian influenza at the human / animal interface, and the molecular epidemiology of African swine fever in Nigeria. Although still at the beginning of his career, he has already delivered many international papers and won an award for the best scientific oral presentation at the 12th International Conference of the Association of Institutions of Tropical Veterinary Medicine (AITVM), Montpellier, France in 2007.

*Dr. Alexandre Caron, CIRAD, Zimbabwe
Initially trained as a veterinarian (DVM, Maisons-Alfort, France), Dr. Caron continued his academic training in ecology (MSc, PhD in progress co-supervised by the University of Pretoria and CIRAD). His first paper, published in 2003, was on the ecological impact of bovine tuberculosis on buffalo populations in the Kruger National Park, paving the way to very promising research activities on disease emergence at the wildlife / livestock / human interface in Africa. In line with a One Health perspective, Alex’s current work is on the emergence of major non-zoonotic and zoonotic diseases (including avian influenza and bovine tuberculosis). His program combines different methodological approaches including theoretical modeling and risk analysis, validated by original field data on disease prevalence and host community ecology. He is also exploring common factors related to disease emergence in two different types of wildlife / domestic animal / human interface situations: wild / domestic avian systems (including wild waterfowl / backyard poultry and ostrich farms) and wild ungulates / livestock (buffalo, etc. / cattle). 

*Petronella Chaminuka, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Mrs. Petronella Chaminuka is an agricultural and environmental economist who has 14 years of research and teaching experience in southern Africa. She graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with an MSc in Agricultural Economics in 1999, and is currently studying for a PhD in Environmental Economics with Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She has worked as a program assistant for a multidisciplinary project looking at impacts of economic structural adjustment programs in Zimbabwe (University of Zimbabwe), and as a junior researcher in the Southern Africa Regional Institute for Policy Studies in Zimbabwe. Since 2003, she has worked as a researcher and university lecturer in South Africa, and has been involved in research and community outreach activities in the field of HIV/AIDS, small farmer market access, and environmental economics. Mrs. Chaminuka's current research interests are focused on conflict at the human / wildlife / livestock interface and related socio-economic impacts, economics of ecotourism, and modeling of land-use options in communities adjacent to protected areas. She works with multidisciplinary teams that include animal production specialists, public health veterinarians, and environmental economists.

*Dr. David Abraham, Asian Nature Conservation Foundation, India
After graduating with a veterinary degree from Kerala Agricultural University in 2002, Dr. David Abraham worked at the Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre in Bangalore for two years. In 2006, he completed his post-graduate work in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. For his master’s dissertation work he screened wild elephant populations in southern India for human tuberculosis. Later, with Elephant Care International’s support, he undertook a one-year study- ‘Health Assessment of Captive Asian Elephants in Southern India.’ This project revealed that 15.2% of the captive elephants he evaluated were seropositive to either Mycobacterium tuberculosis or M. bovis. Currently, he is undertaking a two-year project entitled ‘Surveillance and Monitoring of Tuberculosis Infection in Wild and Captive Elephants in Southern India,’ focused on assessing the risk of spill-over of human tuberculosis to wild elephants at the wildlife / domestic animal / human interface.

*Dr. Ayebazibwe Chrisostom, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda
Dr. Ayebazibwe Chrisostom is a Senior Veterinary Officer and PhD Fellow at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Entebbe, Uganda. His PhD research is focused on risk factors and the role of the African buffalo in the persistence of foot and mouth disease in Uganda. He has previously worked on brucellosis risk factors in goats in Uganda, helminthiasis in agro-pastoral cattle, as well as carcass composition of the African giant rat.

*Dr. Dharmaveer Shetty, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India
Dr. Shetty did his dissertation work on helminth communities and parvoviruses in free-ranging Asiatic lions. He plans to undertake advanced studies on the ecology of diseases in free-ranging animals, with a focus on endangered species. Dharmaveer is fascinated by the intricacies underlying the complex relationships between animal health and ecosystem integrity and function.

*Dr. Frank Norbert Mwiine, Makerere University, Uganda
Dr. Frank Norbert Mwiine is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.  He is a PhD Fellow at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and registered at the Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources.  His career has included not only research but work at the grass roots as a veterinary officer.  He has developed strategic interventions to resolve pastoralist-related conflicts at the wildlife / livestock / human interface in Mbarara District.  His research has investigated foot and mouth disease serotypes at the wildlife / livestock interface, and the application and evaluation of a range of new diagnostic tools.

*Dr. Harrison Sadiki, Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project, Tanzania
Dr. Sadiki has focused on assessing the effects of zoonotic disease and water management on health and livelihoods in the Ruaha ecosystem, Tanzania.  Harrison enjoys learning from different people and mastering techniques for the betterment of animals and animal keepers, with the twin goals of improving the livestock sector and bettering wildlife conservation. Harrison is interested in linking research findings to policy guidance that improves human livelihoods, all in the context of sound environmental stewardship. 

*Claire Geoghegan, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Claire Geoghegan is a PhD student in the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her current research on zoonotic disease in southern Africa uses a multidisciplinary approach to assess the current and potential impacts of disease at the wildlife / livestock / human health interface. By incorporating human, animal, and ecosystem health principles into her approach, Claire’s research represents a holistic assessment of disease impacts on economic, environmental, and social sustainability within and around conservation areas. Having worked on projects in Asia, Europe and North America, Claire is currently based at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and is involved with disease research in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.


* "À Medida que as Vedações Caem: Preocupações Emergentes em Áreas de Conservação Transfronteiriças"- "As the Fences Come Down: Emerging Concerns in Transfrontier Conservation Areas" (Portuguese version, by popular demand!) - now available in downloadable PDF via the AHEAD homepage http://www.wcs-ahead.org/.

*Participatory Impact Assessment: a Guide for Practitioners - The Feinstein International Center has been developing and adapting participatory approaches to measure the impact of livelihoods based interventions since the early nineties. Drawing upon this experience, the guide aims to provide practitioners with a broad framework for carrying out project level Participatory Impact Assessments (PIA) of livelihoods interventions in the humanitarian sector. Other than in some health, nutrition, and water interventions in which indicators of project performance should relate to international standards, for many interventions there are no ‘gold standards’ for measuring project impact. This guide aims to bridge this gap by outlining a tried and tested approach to measuring the impact of livelihoods projects. The tools in the guide have been field tested over the past two years in a major research effort, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and involving five major humanitarian NGOs working across Africa. Download the Guide in English, French or Spanish at the Feinstein International Center's website, 

*Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Forum: "Achieving Compatibility between the Transfrontier Conservation Area Concept and International Standards for the Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases" - Proceedings from this November, 2008 forum are now freely available for downloading at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/sadc_forum.html. As noted in the January 2009 AHEAD Update, innovative approaches to controlling disease risks associated with commercial meat trade could significantly enhance compatibility between livestock agriculture and wildlife conservation: this was the message which came out of this SADC forum held in Kasane, Botswana from November 11th to 14th, 2008. The workshop was organised by the European Commission-funded SADC Foot and Mouth Disease Project, and funded by the EU and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Expertise was provided by a diverse range of public and private sector delegates representing the majority of SADC member countries [Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe], the SADC Secretariat, the European Commission, the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA Secretariat, and international organisations such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development (AHEAD), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Wilderness Foundation, and the USAID/Okavango Integrated River Basin Management Project. The workshop addressed the fact that transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) bring with them major advantages for wildlife conservation and biodiversity yet also present serious challenges in the context of disease transmission between domesticated and wild animals, challenges that in a given country can potentially impact the livestock sector's international market access. The workshop delegates agreed to endorse the concept of Commodity-based Trade (CBT), which could enable trade in livestock and wildlife products to proceed safely while effectively delinking trade from area-wide disease status- potentially reducing the need for some of the fences that currently preclude the connectivity required for TFCA success. Several AHEAD collaborators gave presentations, and the AHEAD approach for convening TFCA stakeholders to address 'One Health' challenges emerged as one of the top 10 strategies for TFCA success endorsed by attendees going forward. In addition, several AHEAD products were provided to the delegates, including the 2008 "As the Fences Come Down: Emerging Concerns in Transfrontier Conservation Areas" and the 2005 book, Conservation and Development Interventions at the Wildlife/Livestock Interface: Implications for Wildlife, Livestock and Human Health.

*Minutes for the 9th AHEAD Great Limpopo TFCA Working Group meeting, held March 4-6, 2009 at the Xisaka Hotel in Namaacha, Mozambique are now posted in downloadable PDF - at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/workinggrps_limpopo.html, and have been circulated to the Working Group. A few related points:

(1) All Powerpoint presentations received from the meeting have since been posted as downloadable PDFs at

(2) The most extensive AHEAD GLTFCA Working Group Meeting Photo Gallery ever (!) is now online at 

(3) Any of you from academic institutions within and outside of southern Africa should note that the AHEAD GLTFCA initiative has delineated an extraordinary number of opportunities for graduate students to pursue research: please feel free to share these notes with students, let them know about the AHEAD website, etc. A lot of the GLTFCA's information needs would make great thesis fodder! 

(4) Please continue to add your projects' details into the open access AHEAD GLTFCA Projects Table 'wiki' at 
(See p. 21 of the 9th Meeting Minutes for more background on this Table.) If you forgot how to use the Table, please just send me an email and I'll resend you the instructions. Thanks very much for your ongoing interest and commitment.

*Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) offers two new publications on village chicken production (available in late July)
Improving Village Chicken Production: A Manual for Field Workers and Trainers
      – Village Chickens, Poverty Alleviation and the Sustainable Control of Newcastle Disease

Please see http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/latest for downloadable versions or contact Robyn Alders robyn.alders@gmail.com for details.

*New Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project Briefs available - http://haliproject.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/hot-off-the-press-new-hali-research-briefs-available/ 
      HALI RB 09-01:  Landscape Factors Associated with Livestock Disease Deaths in Idodi and Pawaga Divisions, Tanzania
      HALI RB 09-02:  Building Human Capacity to Solve Ecosystem-Health Challenges in Developing Countries (Envirovet Tanzania)
      HALI RB 09-03:  Capturing Women’s Voices: Socioeconomics and Gender-Roles in Pastoralist Households in the Ruaha Landscape, Tanzania

*Conservation Psychology: Understanding and Promoting Human Care for Nature - by Susan Clayton & Gene Myers, May 2009, Wiley-Blackwell, 264 pages. See http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405176784.html. This textbook introduces the reader to the new and emerging field of Conservation Psychology, which explores connections between the study of human behavior and the achievement of conservation goals. People are often cast as villains in the story of environmental degradation, seen primarily as a threat to healthy ecosystems and an obstacle to conservation. But humans are inseparable from natural ecosystems. Understanding how people think about, experience, and interact with nature is crucial for promoting environmental sustainability as well as human well-being. The book first summarizes theory and research on human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to nature and goes on to review research on people's experience of nature in wild, managed, and urban settings. Finally, it examines ways to encourage conservation-oriented behavior at both individual and societal levels. Throughout, the authors integrate a wide body of published literature to demonstrate how and why psychology is relevant to promoting a more sustainable relationship between humans and nature. 

*Information from Ethiopia's Eastern Shoa of Oromia Region- "Community Resilience Development Against Livestock Health Problems" - The project is being implemented in the semi-arid Fantalle district, where the predominant production system in the area is pastoralism. Fantalle also receives erratic rainfall, which usually results in drought situations. The prevailing recurrent drought and the resulting shortage of water and animal feed, pest infestations, livestock diseases, conflict over resources and loss of animal and human life negatively impact the area's production system and livelihoods. The diminishing grazing lands and lack of livelihood diversification in the area are also contribute to the severity of the situation. There is one national park near this district and during drought periods, the community takes their animals near this park and they are driving wild animals away. They hunt some of the herbivorous wild animals and also kill carnivores like leopard, lion, etc. Some of the livestock health care problems of the district include poor infrastructure, inadequate veterinary personnel, inadequate supplies of drugs and vaccines, and the high cost of veterinary services.  Gudina Tumsa Foundation (GTF) http://www.gtf.org.et/ has built two veterinary clinics at two pastoralist kebeles of the district. Though these clinics are managing to serve the villages in the immediate proximity, the service cannot reach all the kebeles of the district. In addition to the services given by these clinics, an animal health project has trained selected members of the community, about fifty in total. These individuals are given a kit of equipment, drugs and other supplies. It is hoped the work of the Community-based Animal Heath Workers (CAHWs), or para-veterinarians, will be sustainable. They have already organized a cooperative and in the near future they aim to establish a drug store in the town, with the help of GTF. Many benefits have already been observed as a result of the project. For the first time, veterinary services are available in the villages which has saved people’s time, effort, and animals’ lives. There is improved household food security and income. The number of livestock in households has stabilized and overall animal health has improved. Due to the training provided, the wider community has learned to diagnose and treat common diseases from sharing information and observing new practices. The project has shown that CAHWs are a viable and effective option in such mobile pastoralist communities. What was done by GTF is akin to the Chinese proverb 'teach a man to fish....' Whereas providing the community with veterinary services is very difficult, if members are trained in primary animal health care they can help themselves by diagnosing and treating their animals."  For additional information or to offer assistance, contact Roba Fantalle of the local NGO, Gudina Tumsa Foundation robafntl@yahoo.com.


*The 12th International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE)- August 10-14, 2009 at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. ISVEE is the premier international congress linking veterinary epidemiology and economics, and has been held every three years since 1976. This will be only the second time that the meeting has been held in Africa (the first was in Nairobi, Kenya in 1994). Please consider taking advantage of the geographical setting of the meeting to facilitate strong participation from developing countries, particularly those in Africa. ISVEE hopes to bring together veterinary and medical epidemiologists, economists, and associated professions to address common themes and challenges, with special emphasis on facilitating decision making on animal health issues in the developing world. Please note that "Zoonoses and Emerging Diseases" and "Wildlife Diseases and the Wildlife/ Livestock/ Human Interface" are two of the ten key conference themes. For details, see the ISVEE web site: http://www.isvee.co.za/. For more information, please contact Vernon Ndlovu vernon@confcall.co.za or Ferran Jori ferran.jori@cirad.fr.

*3rd African Veterinary Congress (3ème Congrès de l'Association Vétérinaire Africain)- September 28-30, 2009 in Yaounde, Cameroon. Congress theme: "The Role of the Veterinarian in Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection." For additional information, contact Dr. Faouzi Kechrid vetatvac@yahoo.com or infos@onvc.org, see http://www.onvc.org/.


*African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) Charlotte Conservation Fellowships available - The application process for the 2009-2010 AWF Charlotte Conservation Fellows is open through July 31, 2009. Under the Charlotte Conservation Fellowship Program, AWF is offering scholarships for full MSc or partial Ph.D. programs with field research components that produce knowledge or insight into specific conservation challenges in the African Heartlands or conservation in general. Citizens of Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso are eligible to apply. Expenses that AWF expects to cover under the scholarship will vary depending on the individual program selected by the scholarship recipient, but each scholarship is valued at a maximum of US$25,000. Those whose total costs for their studies exceed this figure must demonstrate that they have secured additional funding from other sources to enable them to complete their studies. All application documents must be submitted by close of business on July 31, 2009. Successful candidates will be notified by August 15, 2009. The Charlotte Conservation Fellows 2009-2010 Application form and Reference form are available at: http://awf.org/section/people/education/charlotte/2009application. For additional information, contact charlottefellowship@awfke.org

* Photo contest- Caring for the Earth - Seeks single photos and photo essays profiling people in Africa working to reduce the effects of climate change in their countries, cities and communities. The contest is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with Olympus Corporation and the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Foundation. Prizes include the latest in Olympus equipment, a trip to New York City for the first prize winners, and a working fellowship with an AFP bureau in Africa for one first-prize winner in the professional category. The deadline is Aug. 31st. You must have lived in an African country for at least 12 months before that date to be eligible to enter.  For more information and to enter your submissions go to: http://picturethis.undp.org/.

*More organizations continue to be added to the LINKs section of the AHEAD website at http://www.wcs-ahead.org/links.html. We are pleased to now have a link in place to the URL of the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed)- check out their revamped website!

If you have items for the next AHEAD Update, please just let me know – thanks.

What is AHEAD?

Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development was launched six years ago – at the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa.  By assembling a ‘dream team’ of veterinarians, ecologists, biologists, social and economic scientists, agriculturists, wildlife managers, public health specialists and others from across East and southern Africa, the Wildlife Conservation Society, IUCN, and a range of partners tapped into some of the most innovative conservation and development thinking on the African continent – and AHEAD was born. Since then, a range of programs addressing conservation, health, and concomitant development challenges have been launched with the support of a growing list of implementing partners and donors who see the intrinsic value of what WCS has called the One World, One Health™ approach. AHEAD is a convening, facilitative mechanism, working to create enabling environments that allow different and often competing sectors to literally come to the same table and find collaborative ways forward to address challenges at the interface of wildlife health, livestock health, and human health and livelihoods. We convene stakeholders, help delineate conceptual frameworks to underpin planning, management and research, and provide technical support and resources for projects stakeholders identify as priorities. AHEAD recognizes the need to look at health and disease not in isolation but within a given region's socioeconomic and environmental context.

All the best,