In early June this year, policymakers, researchers, government and private sector representatives from Kenya, Germany and Uganda met in Kampala to launch the BuildUganda project. Funded by the German government, BuildUganda is a research for development collaboration to prevent and tackle animal diseases and zoonoses in Uganda. Its focus on ‘healthy animals for healthy food and healthy people’ reflects the importance of livestock in the lives and livelihoods of Uganda’s population.
In early June this year, the BuildUganda research for development project was launched at a workshop with stakeholders. One of the four components of the project is focused on controlling Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Uganda. This component specifically aims to minimize the impacts of RVF by improving capacities for surveillance and response at national and community levels, leading to better risk prediction, evidence-based disease control policies, and improved awareness about the disease.
Six new high-level publications by scientists and partners of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) on zoonoses, livestock and well-being.
The following policy recommendations build on the main findings of the CFS High Level Panel of Expert’s Jul 2016 report #10, on Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: What roles for livestock? The sustainable development of agriculture, including livestock, is essential for poverty reduction and the achievement of food security and nutrition.
The experience of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partner scientists in 2015–2016 unmistakably identifies the potential benefits to smallholder farmers and consumers of research into livestock and human health. Smallholder farmers could potentially save hundreds of millions of US dollars annually, following breakthroughs in the development of vaccines for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and Rift Valley fever, the latter posing a serious threat to human as well as animals. However, it was the participation in high-level fora and implementation strategies which are likely to deliver the rapid life changes for smallholder farmers on the ground.
Peter Doherty is today patron of two institutes: the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital researching infectious diseases in humans that became operational in 2014, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), for whose predecessor, the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD), Doherty served for several years as a board member overseeing the science program.
Discussants at this event unpacked the tensions inherent between developing livestock markets to meet economic goals of the poor and meeting the nutritional needs of poor households raising livestock.