Wildlife-related Zoonotic Diseases among Pastoralists in Uganda
Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are of increasing concern worldwide. Most of these diseases are of animal origin (zoonotic). While risk of zoonotic disease is related to wildlife-livestock-human interaction, it is amplified by poverty, environmental degradation and social vulnerability. The East African context presents a high-risk situation. Livestock and wild animals come into close contact while using limited water resources and pastures near national parks and tourist resorts. Disease transmission from wildlife to livestock and people affects community development, public health, food security, wildlife protection and business (tourism, value chains). Using an Ecohealth approach, researchers will conduct a serological survey to determine the distribution of major zoonotic diseases among pastoral communities, livestock and wildlife in proximity to a national park. They will carry out ecological, social and economic studies to assess the impact of such diseases on public health and income generation (value chains, tourism). And, they will develop multi-stakeholder strategies to reduce vulnerability and risk with respect to zoonotic diseases among pastoralist communities in the Ugandan cattle corridor. The project is expected to generate results that can be used to guide public health and development policies across various sectors.