No exit strategy: More than 100 Somali’s, mostly young and old, have died of hunger and disease
Article / Drought / Drylands / East Africa / Food Security / Nigeria / Somalia / South Sudan / Vulnerability

No exit strategy: More than 100 Somali’s, mostly young and old, have died of hunger and disease

More than one hundred vulnerable people of the South—most of them old and young—have died from lack of food and water-borne diseases in a 48-hour period in the rural Bay administrative region of southwestern Somalia. This hot and semi-arid southern region is devastated by drought as well as by the operations of a militant Islamist group known as Al-Shabaab. Continue reading

Slum farming and superbugs—An ‘Urban Zoo’ science project tracks bacterial routes in complex environments
A4NH / Agri-Health / Article / Disease Control / East Africa / Emerging Diseases / Epidemiology / Food Safety / FSZ / Health / ILRI / Kenya / Zoonotic Diseases

Slum farming and superbugs—An ‘Urban Zoo’ science project tracks bacterial routes in complex environments

The Urban Zoo project is visiting 99 households across Nairobi, rich and poor, with livestock and without. They’re taking samples from people, their animals, and whatever wildlife they can find nearby (and catch): storks, mice, bats, et cetera. They’re sampling the ground around homes, yards and livestock pens with white paper booties. ‘The aim, says University of Liverpool veterinarian Judy Bettridge, is “to try and understand on a small scale how those bacteria are shared” among each household’s people, livestock and environment. “And then when we scale it up, are the bacteria here being shared with the household that’s 50 meters over there? Or 100 meters over there? So, how far can they actually spread?” . . . Continue reading

Agri-Health / Animal Health / Article / Cattle / Central Africa / Disease Control / East Africa / ECF / Epidemiology / ILRI / Interview / Kenya / LIVESTOCKFISH / Southern Africa / Staff / Vaccines

New paper on parasitic infections shows the benefits of co-infections with the ‘mild cousins’ of important pathogens

Herds of African cattle may hold the secret to new ways of fighting parasitic diseases like malaria, which kills some 600,000 people a year, scientists said on Friday. Continue reading

Agri-Health / Animal Health / Article / Cattle / Central Africa / Disease Control / East Africa / ECF / Epidemiology / ILRI / Interview / Kenya / LIVESTOCKFISH / Southern Africa / Staff / Vaccines

ILRI’s Philip Toye VOA interview on East Coast fever, and the benefits of co-parasitic infections

Voice of America’s Joe DeCapua interview Phil Toye, a scientist with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), about a paper published this week in Science Advance. Continue reading

Animal Health / Central Africa / Congo / Disease Control / Goats / ILRI / PPR / Sheep / Small Ruminants

A livestock plague is killing Congo’s goats and sheep

Goat and people share a road in Goma, DRC (photo on Flickr by Robert Guerra). Voice of America is reporting on a new livestock epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The highly contagious viral disease is known as ‘peste des petits ruminants’, or PPR for short, sometimes as ‘ovine rinderpest’, and more … Continue reading

Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Food Security / ILRI / Kenya / Pastoralism / Somalia / Vulnerability

East Africa can–and should–help livestock herders cope better with drought

Dasanech nomadic homes near Omorate, in southern Ethiopia (photo on Flickr by Carsten ten Brink). Cathy Majtenyi of Voice of America reported on meetings in Nairobi this week to look at options for mitigating drought-induced food shortages. They say pastoralism is the best land-use practice in the region’s drylands and are looking at ways to help … Continue reading