Lassa fever: The politics of an emerging disease and the scope for One Health

STEPS Working Paper 83 This paper explores the politics of knowledge and disease control for Lassa fever, a zoonotic viral haemorrhagic fever which is endemic in parts of West Africa. The Lassa virus has been classified as a Category A pathogen, meaning it is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous organisms and…

The political economy of One Health research and policy

STEPS Working Paper 81 ‘One Health’ has emerged over the last decade as a key concept guiding international research and policy in the field of emerging infectious diseases such as zoonoses. This paper explores the emergence of One Health and examines the political, economic and knowledge processes shaping who is doing what, where and why….

Responding to uncertainty: Bats and the construction of disease risk in Ghana

STEPS Working Paper 80 Zoonotic disease has gained international attention since the identification of avian and swine influenza, with academic focus on the modelling of disease emergence, and policy centring on disciplinary approaches of analysis. Recent scholarship has recognised that the conditions which encourage zoonotic diseases are both ecological and socio-political. The challenge lies in the…

The Politics of Delivering One Health

Diseases that affect people and have their origins in animals (zoonoses) have the potential to cause social, political and economic upheaval, often with little warning. Witness 2014’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as well as recent avian (H5N1) and swine (H1N1) flu pandemics. Other zoonoses less dramatically, but with wider impact, quietly devastate lives and…

Towards One Health? Evolution of international collaboration networks on Nipah virus research from 1999-2011

STEPS Working Paper 74 The world is now facing the emergence of new pathogens and the return of old ones at an unprecedented speed. Among the wide range of emerging diseases, zoonoses – infections naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans – represent a new complex global problem for public health and require new forms of science…

Politics of knowledge: Whose knowledge matters in trypanosomiasis policy making in Zambia

STEPS Working Paper 73 This paper explores the framings of trypanosomiasis, a widespread and potentially fatal zoonotic disease transmitted by tsetse flies (Glossina species) affecting both humans and livestock.  This is a country case study focusing on the political economy of knowledge in Zambia. It is a pertinent time to examine this issue as human…

The Politics of Trypanosomiasis Control in Africa

STEPS Working Paper 57 African trypanosomiasis is a devastating disease, both for humans and animals. Over the last hundred years huge efforts have been made to control it. This paper explores the scientific and policy debates surrounding the control of the disease and its vector, the tsetse fly. The paper focuses particularly on East and…

Zoonoses research updates

The Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium is bringing together natural and social scientists to understand four neglected zoonotic (passed from animal to human) diseases in five African countries: henipavirus infection in Ghana; Rift Valley fever in Kenya; Lassa fever in Sierra Leone; and trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe. These five research updates, one for…

Biofortification: lessons from the Golden Rice project

Biofortification is an umbrella term for a diverse range of projects and possibilities. It is best understood on three levels: as a range of technologies for developing micronutrient – dense crops; a development intervention to improve public health; and an idea that links agriculture, nutrition and health in a particular way. This paper focuses on…

Socioeconomic development as an intervention against malaria: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Lucy S Tusting, Barbara Willey, Henry Lucas, John Thompson, Hmooda T Kafy, Richard Smith, Steve W Lindsay The Lancet, June 2013 (online) Background: Future progress in tackling malaria mortality will probably be hampered by the development of resistance to drugs and insecticides and by the contraction of aid budgets. Historically, control was often achieved without…