Tsetse fly

To combat neglected tropical diseases, we need more than just drugs and vaccines

Neglected tropical diseases have been in the news this week. A big meeting at the World Health Organisation in Geneva has resulted in big pledges from the UK aid progamme and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to banish the scourge affecting around a billion people worldwide. This is good news, and to be commended….

Research collaboration for global challenges: why it’s really hard

On 17-18 March at London Zoo was the final conference of a project I have been involved in over the past four years on zoonoses, ecosystems and wellbeing in Africa. The conference highlighted the idea of ‘One Health’, a movement aimed at linking human, livestock and ecosystem health. The focus was on how to make…

One Health for the Real World

Welcome to the web page for our international symposium, ‘One Health for the Real World: zoonoses, ecosystems and wellbeing’, which took place at the Zoological Society of London, 17-18 March 2016.

Bats, people and a complex web of disease transmission

By Kate Jones and Liam Brierley It might seem strange that after millennia of human history, outbreaks of new, ’emerging’ diseases that we’ve never seen before still regularly occur around the world, some of which go on to become pandemic. However, this may not be so surprising considering how quickly and how intensively the world…

How to prevent epidemics: an optimist’s blog

  “The optimist is someone who believes the future is uncertain.” Leo Szilard   When I first studied epidemiology several decades ago, a story made the rounds that was supposed to make us feel that we were smart. If an old man came into a medical clinic with diarrhoea, the doctor would treat it. If…

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…

Reports on climate change and health forecast gloomy future but ‘no-regret’ options may save the day

Ever since climate change became an issue of concern there have been questions about the possible impacts on health. This month, two landmark reports have been released, both of which emphasise that a warmer, wetter world may well be a sicker one. Together with Victor Galaz, professor of politics at the Stockholm Resilience Institute and…

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…

Major new research project on animal-to-human disease transmission

The ESRC STEPS Centre has begun work on a major, international research project exploring the factors that drive animal-to-human (‘zoonotic’) disease transmission in Tanzania, with the aim of informing new strategies for disease control and elimination. Anthropologist Dr. Linda Waldman, a member of the STEPS Centre, will be undertaking the social science element, including participatory…

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…