Relevant Projects and Clusters
Three of the HEALTHY FUTURES partners (ICTP, ILRI, UNILIV) are also members of a new EU sister project QWeCI which will investigate the potential of monthly to seasonal forecasts of malaria and RVF in 3 African target countries. Commencing in 2010, QWeCI, a EU FP7-funded project, will coordinate the collection of data on human and animal diseases, mainly malaria and RVF, in Ghana, Malawi and Senegal.The dynamical disease modelling component of HEALTHY FUTURES can benefit through close links with QWeCI. QWeCl aims to use statistical and dynamical vector models to produce disease risk maps for malaria and RVF on monthly to seasonal timescales and beyond, and investigate efficient ways of disseminating these to the end user;
VecNet was founded in 2011 as a consortium of institutions assembled to address the concerns and recommendations of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA) initiative. The initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, produced a collection of 12 reviews after consultations with more than 250 experts on malaria from 36 countries. The malERA initiative concluded that the first step in malaria elimination required assembling and making accessible all relevant data on malaria as a means to analyze the data in order to both preserve the effectiveness of our present malaria control intervention and the means to design new strategies. To address those needs, the Vector Borne Disease Network (VecNet) was formed and presently consists of James Cook University, the University of Notre Dame, Oxford University, the Institute of Disease Modeling, the Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute and Robert Farlow Consulting LLC. VecNet has created a web portal with fully searchable digital library and data warehouse to allow uses to access malaria information and data. The VecNet portal hosts two mathematical models, the Epidemiologic Model of Disease (developed by the Institute for Disease Modelling at Intellectual Ventures) and the OpenMalaria model, (developed by the Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute). VecNet has created user-friendly software with access to experts to (1) assist individuals and groups who would normally not use models to explore combinations of vector and drug based interventions to determine the optimal mix for use is specific geographic areas, (2) to allow new product developers to refine target product profiles and (3) to assist policy makers and funders to make decisions on investments.
VecNet Strategies To Fight Malaria
Simulation models use existing data to predict malaria intervention outcomes. They can be run on their own or alongside field experiments. Their use within a project can reduce costs and save time. However, historically their use has been restricted by their availability: by the requirement of advanced mathematical modelling knowledge and expensive modelling software. To address this gap and improve access to simulation modelling programs, VecNet is developing simplified user interfaces for existing simulation programs. These interfaces will be available freely to VecNet users to improve malaria eradication strategies. VecNet also provides user-friendly interfaces to data and information storage, and these can be linked to the simulation modeling interfaces. The combined benefits of the VecNet tools are; accessible, transparent and comprehensible information and simulation modelling programs-to allow users to ask "what-if" questions to create intervention simulations that will inform local malaria eradication strategies.
Further selected links that may be of interest:
The Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA) initiative: http://www.who.int/malaria/elimination/maleraupdate.pdf
EDENext is a research project bringing together 46 international teams dedicated to investigating the biological, ecological and epidemiological components of vector-borne disease introduction, emergence and spread, and the creation of new tools to control them.
EDENext builds on the concepts, methods tools and results of the earlier EDEN project (Emerging diseases in a changing European environment). EDENext is using the same general approach in order to develop a set of state-of-the-art methods and tools to improve prevention, surveillance and control of vector populations and VBD. However, while EDEN focused on the effects of environmental changes on the emergence of VBD, EDENext is seeking to explain and model the processes leading to the introduction, establishment and spread of vectors and/or VBD, and to assess the possible control strategies to break the epidemiological cycles of VBD.
The focus of EDENext is on the vector groups: ticks, rodents and insectivores, mosquitoes, Culicoides, and sand flies. These project groups are supported by integration teams specialising in Public Health, Modelling and Data Management.
Further selected links that may be of interest:
The EDEN Publication Search Tool – Over 250 articles submitted for publication on vector-borne diseases or related subjects.
CONTRAST is a multidisciplinary alliance bringing together key skills and expertise to generate new knowledge on biological, environmental and socio-economic factors relating to schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. The project will complement ongoing chemotherapy campaigns based on the drug praziquantel and deliver more effective strategies for long-term control of this debilitating disease. The project addresses the basic need of endemic countries to improve understanding of schistosomiasis transmission, in order to target, and make best use of limited resources for control.
ICONZ aims at Improving Human Health and Animal Production in developing countries through Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonoses in animals, based on Scientific Innovation and Public Engagement. ICONZ unites experts from 21 European and African Partner Institutes collaborating to develop effective strategies for integrated control of neglected zoonoses. Effective control in animals will require scientific innovation to identify and (where necessary) develop tools for diagnosis, for quantification of disease burdens, and for control. Public engagement at all stakeholder levels will be needed to ensure that strategies are appropriate for use in affected communities and are adopted within the policy framework of affected countries.
The overall objective of the WETwin project is to enhance the role of wetlands in basin-scale integrated water resources management (IWRM), with the aim of improving the community service functions while conserving good ecological status. The project will work on 'twinned' case study wetlands from Europe, Africa and South America. Management solutions will be worked out for these wetlands with the aim of supporting the achievement of the above objectives. Knowledge and experiences gained from these case studies will be summarized in general guidelines aiming to support achieving project objectives on global scale. The project also aims at supporting the global exchange of expertise on wetland management. Stakeholder participation, capacity building and expertise exchange will be supported by a series of stakeholder and 'twinning' workshops.
AFROMAISON aims to propose concrete strategies for integrated natural resources management in Africa in order to adapt to the consequences of climate change. Africa appears to be very vulnerable to climate change. This can lead to both bigger water shortages and higher damages due to natural disasters. It is expected that climate change will outpace the large efforts currently made to eradicate poverty. AFROMAISON will propose sustainable solutions for communities and authorities in their operational management and strategic policy of natural (water) resources, and help them in their fight against climate change.
The emBRACE project aims to improve the pan-European framing of the resilience concept. Using interdisciplinary, socially inclusive and collaborative methods, it will develop a conceptual and methodological approach to clarify how the resilience capacity of a society confronted with natural hazards and disasters can be characterized, defined and measured. Indicators to measure resilience will be recommended based on practical experience and grounded theories. A wide range of stakeholders and experts will be incorporated into different knowledge-sharing groups. A key difference in the emBRACE project approach is the seeking out of those people and groups not normally included; not as subjects of research but as partners in the research and experts in their own right (e.g. through Peer-To-Peer Learning Exchanges with grassroots groups).
The primary objective of MALAREO is to develop technology and implement earth observation (EO) capacities within malaria vector control and management programs in southern Africa. To achieve this objective, knowledge exchange and capability will occur in two directions (EU - SA). By doing this, the project will contribute to the installation of an EO monitoring cell that will support the daily work of the national malaria control programs. The success of achieving the project objectives will be based on a coherent and efficient multidisciplinary and continental partnership. MALAREO will make full use of previous developments and research done in malaria vector control monitoring and management. The project will work on a very real and practical situation in the Lubombo area, in close cooperation with the end-users. The objectives of MALAREO will respond directly to existing end-user requirements, and in the same time strengthen collaboration on GMES described in EU-South Africa Space Dialogue Joint communiqué.
The principal aim of DEWFORA is to develop a framework for the provision of early warning and response through drought impact mitigation for Africa. This framework will cover the whole chain from monitoring and vulnerability assessment, to forecasting, warning, response and knowledge dissemination. DEWFORA expects to contribute to an increase in the effectiveness with which drought forecasting, warning and response can be provided. It will provide guidance on how and where drought preparedness and adaptation should be targeted to contribute to an increase in resilience and improve effectiveness of drought mitigation measures.
AfriCAN Climate is a project set up by a team of 5 African and 5 European organisations, including research institutes and networks. The AfriCAN Climate Portal is an innovative web-based knowledge platform for the sharing of climate change research and good practices. On the portal you can share your knowledge about research topics of your interest, highlight relevant publications, projects and events; you can exchange ideas with other AfriCAN users and create new groups for networking and discussion. The AfriCAN community is open to all interested researchers, practitioners, policy makers, NGOs, students, associations and climate change experts. Join us here to exchange ideas and experience on how to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in Africa.
The EC published in 2010 a call for proposals to address some of the Science & Technology objectives of the "Africa – EU Strategic Partnership", putting emphasis on "Water and Food Security and a "Better Health for Africa". In 2011, the projects focusing on water related issues that were awarded under this ‘’Africa Call’ joined forces in the AU-EU Africa cluster. The objective of this cluster are to facilitate exchange of information and knowledge between African and European scientists, stimulate synergies and increase the impact of the projects through coordinated dissemination actions.
CAAST-Net Plus (Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperationbetween Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe) is a network that advances bi-regional research and innovation cooperation between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Building on the results of CAAST-Net, the network is funded for 2013 - 2016 by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.
MALACTRES is medium-scale focused research project funded by the EC in which partners from Africa and Europe work together in the battle against malaria. The aim of the project is to assess specific genetic markers for Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) resistance and development of innovative, rapid and simple diagnostics for malaria.
Vulnerability has long been a key concept in disaster literature. However, the majority of studies have focused on research related to the hazard, therefore neglecting the influence of the vulnerability of exposed systems to the consequences of such hazards, such as the death toll and losses from natural or man made disasters. There is also a need to better identify and measure the ability of ‘at risk’ and affected communities and territorial systems to respond to such disasters. The overall objective of ENSURE is to develop a new methodological framework for Integrated Multi-Scale Vulnerability Assessment.
MOVE will create knowledge, frameworks and methods for the assessment of vulnerability to natural hazards in Europe. It will use indices and indicators to help improve societal and environmental resilience and will identify gaps in existing methodologies. The project will produce a conceptual framework that is independent of scale and hazard type.
CIRCLE-2 is a European Network of 34 institutions from 23 countries committed to fund research and share knowledge on climate adaptation and the promotion of long-term cooperation among national and regional climate change programmes. CIRCLE-2 is focused on the interface between Climate Change science and policy. Through the promotion of networking activities it aims to maximise the degree to which research outcomes address both national and European climate policy needs.
EVAL-HEALTH is an EC FP7 funded R&D project which has as its main goal to contribute to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of EU funded interventions in developing countries in the specific area of Health. These new methodologies will improve the monitoring and evaluation of EU-funded programmes and projects, thus helping EC decision makers and development partner countries the measurement of the success of implemented activities. They will provide more and better evidence of the effects of EC health aid policies in developing countries together with better knowledge about the types of policies and programmes that are more successful thus improving future practices.
VECTRI (http://www.ictp.it/~tompkins/vectri) is a mathematic dynamical model for malaria transmission that accounts for the impact of climate variability and population. It was written in the early period of 2011 and officially launched at the second workshop for East Africa Climate and impacts at the university of Addis Ababa in November 2011. The underlying aim of the model is to provide a research tool to understand what drives malaria transmission that can be applied on a regional scale but at spatial resolutions of 10km or less.
The Disease Model Cradle (DMC) along with a tutorial and sample data is now available as a free download from (HEALTHY FUTURES' sister project) QWeCI's website http://www.liv.ac.uk/qweci/project_outputs/#d.en.241691
The DMC is an application which provides an interactive front-end to run a variety of disease models, including the Liverpool Malaria Model (LMM) and the Rift Valley Fever model when available. Disease models encapsulated as dynamic libraries are plugged into the application using a standardised interface, and the run results displayed graphically. The aim of this tool is to allow end-users to run models in their local institutions with their own meteorological datasets and to investigate and validate the results with respect to epidemiological field measurements (e.g. malaria incidences, number of infected mosquitoes for the LMM). The DMC is available for different platforms (Windows, Mac OS X).
Adaptation decision-making is challenging; it requires not only an understanding of present and future climate hazards but also of the socio-economic contexts in which adaptation will be implemented. There are many ‘conventional’ decision-making methods and tools that could be applied. At the same time, new tools are appearing that address the demand for climate information specifically, or for the integration of climate information with other priorities in adaptation decision-making. The ADx concept falls into the latter category; it is designed to operate as a meta-tool in which several promising decision methods can selected, applied and compared.
CCAPS climate security vulnerability data provides information on four sources of vulnerability: physical exposure to climate-related hazards, population density, household and community resilience, and governance and political violence. Chronic climate security vulnerability is located where these four sources of vulnerability conjoin. View the data sources for the CCAPS climate security vulnerability model. The climate security vulnerability model includes ACLED conflict events; an alternative model without these events is shown here when the model is displayed with an overlay of ACLED events.
World Health Organisation Fact Sheets
Rift Valley Fever: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs207/en/index.html
The CIPHAN has been developed to provide public health professionals with knowledge, methodologies, tools, and data to better manage climate sensitive diseases toward improving health outcomes. It acts as a web portal to guide the learner towards other sources of information, as well as a source of learning resources, such as educational modules and exercises. This site's library also contains a directory of published material to give the reader opportunity for further investigation.