The Policy Round Table of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), meeting in Rome on 17 Oct 2016, discussed the report on Sustainable Agricultural Development for Food Security and Nutrition: What Roles for Livestock? The report had been launched on 1 July in Rome and is now available in all of the UN languages. The Plenary Session of the Committee endorsed a set of recommendations, drafted during preliminary negotiations led by Ambassador Yaya Olaniran (Nigeria).
A first look at a revamped ILRI research program: Animal and Human Health
A useful summary of the future plans of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), based in Washington, DC, has been published. Two of the five flagships of this multi-institutional research program are led or co-led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Future work of these two flagships is described below.
In the lead up to the High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance to be held in the margins of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, attended by heads of state and government at the UN’s New York City headquarters on 21 Sep 2016, scientists from ILRI and partner organizations have published a must-read article on the ‘One Health’ as well as ‘One World’ aspects of the rapid rise of antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic organisms.
As the world becomes more well, people — particularly people in the West — seem to be more worried about health and disease, especially about the possibility of global pandemics (that is, widespread outbreaks) of newly emerging infectious diseases. Are these first-world fears? Or is there good reason why everyone should be concerned about coming plagues? And, if so, what should we be doing differently to protect ourselves better from newly emerging diseases?
Today and tomorrow (31 May–1 Jun 2016), Chatham House, the Livestock Global Alliance (LGA), the One Health Platform and other One Health partners are convening senior policymakers, academics, multilateral development agencies, business leaders and other private-sector stakeholders to discuss livestock’s role in poverty reduction, sustainable livestock production systems, innovations in livestock vaccines and diagnostics and the value of establishing national and regional One Health centres to provide advice on links among agriculture, sustainable livestock systems and human development.
Diseases transmitted between animals and people—which cause 60% of all human infectious diseases—are a ‘frontier issue’ at the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA2), being held this week and next at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in Nairobi, Kenya.
Twenty organizations, including ILRI, made up the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium, which from 2012 to 2015 coordinated research exploring the relations among African ecosystems and zoonotic diseases—those transmitted between animals and people—that impinge on ecosystem, human and animal wellbeing.
A new study published in the science journal Emerging Infectious Diseases reports that two individuals in Kenya have tested positive for the presence of antibodies to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV). Neither person is ill nor do they recall having any symptoms associated with MERS. There is no evidence of a public health threat and scientists concluded that the infections caused little or no clinical signs of illness. But they plan follow-up studies, as this is the first indication of a MERS-CoV infection that is not connected to primary infections in the Middle East.
Zoonoses—diseases transferred from animals to humans—have been with humanity throughout history. But today’s growing scale of livestock production in developing countries to feed their fast-growing and fast-urbanizing populations is sparking debate about whether the livestock sector is contributing to a fundamental a shift in global disease mortality, something known as an ‘epidemiological transition’. If so, it would be the third such transition in human history.