Colony of bats flying in a blue sky.

One Health Day: 3 November 2016

Read our ‘One Health stories’ on how research from the STEPS-led Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa consortium was used to inform responses to zoonotic disease.

First Ebola, now Zika: inconvenient truths about emerging diseases

In the second time in as many years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new Global Public Health Emergency: the Zika virus crisis has been born. A new disease with another exotic name, Zika virus is predicted to infect millions in the next few months as it sweeps across the globe. Just as…

El Niño predictions signal urgent need to prepare for Rift Valley fever epidemics in eastern Africa

Recent climate predictions suggest East Africa may be in line for an epidemic of Rift Valley fever (RVF) – an infectious disease which can hit people, their livestock and livelihoods, and national economies hard.

What does systems thinking for rabies control mean for rabies research?

Rabies, in many ways, is an atypical zoonosis. It continues to feature as a priority disease by multiple national as well as international agencies. There is substantial research evidence regarding its burden and transmission dynamics as well as intervention efficacy. In addition, rabies is one of the few diseases for which well-structured and scientifically sound…

Ebola: identifying the true game-changers

Compared to this time last year, news about Ebola is hugely more encouraging. Although not over, the number of new cases per week tends to be in single figures instead of the hundreds. Out of the tragedy there have been some awe-inspiring achievements, such as the recent news that a vaccine had proven 100% effective…

Welcoming the medics to the One Health movement

The Ebola epidemic alerted many to the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health. The medical community has traditionally lagged behind animal health and ecosystem experts in embracing One Health, the predominant movement espousing this approach, but now a report from a Lancet and Rockefeller Foundation co-convened Commission on Planetary Health appears to do so enthusiastically…

A new tool to prepare for zoonotic surprise

A new website from the STEPS-led Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium illustrates how scenarios modelling can provide a new and vital new tool in the global health community’s toolkit. The site, at www.diseasescenarios.org, explores how this multidisciplinary approach can help shed light on the complex processes at play in determining disease risk – and…

Ebola: difficult questions for development

As the horrific Ebola crisis unfolds across West Africa, and the international community belatedly responds, there are some bigger questions that arise beyond the immediate challenges on the ground. These are worth raising and discussing, as they challenge our understanding of ‘development’ as framed and practised over the last few decades in fundamental ways. The…

Ebola: failures, flashpoints and focus

By Annie Wilkinson, post doctorate researcher, Institute of Development Studies As the worst Ebola epidemic on record shows no signs of abating in West Africa, fear and ignorance are increasingly said to be playing a role in its continued spread. Meanwhile, local practices such as the consumption of bushmeat and deforestation are the go-to explanations…

Ebola in Guinea – people, patterns and puzzles

By Melissa Leach, Principal Investigator of Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium The francophone West African country of Guinea doesn’t often make international headlines, but has this week for the nastiest of reasons. An outbreak of Ebola, first identified in the forested south-east of the country in mid-March, has now spread across the country…