To support public-private partnerships that demonstrate how companies, communities, smallholders and governments can work collaboratively to reduce deforestation and benefit forest dependent communities
The Dust Bunny project will apply design methods coupled with microbiological analyses to address issues of home-based infections in Ghana, particularly those carrying antimicrobial resistance, resulting in a reduction of infection and in positive increase of health outcomes. Bacteria found in the natural and built environment (e.g. homes, schools, hospitals, etc.) are building up a resistance to drugs -changing to protect themselves against antibiotics. What this means is that in the not-too-distant future, something as simple as a minor cut infection could become life-threatening. This is such a concern that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now considered a global health crisis, far surpassing outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and as real as climate change. This is even more evident and critical in developing countries in Africa, such as in Ghana, where there are a great number of deaths from infectious diseases. Bacteria are made up of pathogens (bad germs) and non-pathogens (good germs) and are generally scattered across the home. Most surfaces in the home are covered to a certain degree with bacteria, but unlike fixed surfaces such as kitchen work surfaces and furniture, dust can move more easily around different parts of the home and therefore presents a major route for human exposure to bacterial infections. Despite being clear evidence for microbial exposure and infection transmission within the home, there has been less research effort invested in understanding the home environment, due to difficulty of conducting detailed studies. Although the transmission routes by dust in the home environment are well known, what has not been studied is how to prevent bacterial infection at home and thereby reduce resistance. Particularly in developing countries, such as Ghana, social inequalities mean a range of different quality and types of homes; this combined with often poor levels of domestic hygiene that is influenced by a number of economic, educational and religion factors, contributes to the spread of infectious diseases. Although there are hygiene guidelines available for preventing infection in the home environment, these are targeted at hygiene professionals and do not reach the everyday household in Ghana. There is therefore a much-required and unmet need to identify, understand and develop domestic hygiene practices that are relevant to different home environments, educational and cultural backgrounds in developing countries, such as in Ghana, in order to reduce exposure to bacteria pathogens and thereby exposure to resistance forms. Within this context, the Dust Bunny project aims at developing an understanding of the home as a source of infection of bacteria, resistant to antibiotics, found and carried by dust. This will be done by exploring hygiene practices across different home environments in Ghana, with the ultimate aim to reduce bacterial infection in the home environment thereby reducing AMR. Understanding the hygiene practices in the household and interactions with airborne AMR bacteria will serve as a first step to designing appropriate education/information dissemination materials for various sections of the Ghanaian population as well as other low- and middle-income countries in Africa. Dust Bunny, uniquely combines design research and microbiology to provide an informed assessment of societal practices in domestic cleanliness and novel solution to reduce infections in the home. The project team includes Imagination@Lancaster -an internationally leading research institution in design research- and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research -a research centre of excellence and the prime biomedical research institution in Ghana, involved with the Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health in providing the evidence to effect policy changes.
The concept of 'development corridors' is increasingly used to support economic growth in Africa, driven by international as well as national interests. Development corridors have tremendous development potential yet they face significant challenges. These include uneven development impacts, traversing so-called "underutilised" lands that are generally already populated and managed, and vulnerability to climate change. Such challenges result in a lack of appropriate research capacity in the region. This proposal aims to addresses these challenges through engagement with decision makers and by developing relevant capacity within research institutions and researchers in eastern Africa, China and the UK. The research is targeted to generate decision-relevant evidence and feed it into key decision making processes in order to improve the sustainable development outcomes of investments in development corridors. The proposal is focused on corridors in eastern Africa, particularly the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) and the Lamu Port and Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) in Kenya. The consortium is led by the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), who would be contracted as 'WCMC', and comprises five universities (Cambridge, London School of Economics, Nairobi, Sokoine University of Agriculture and York) and three boundary agents (World-Wide Fund for Nature (Tanzania), African Conservation Centre (ACC) and the China National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The work is structured around three outcomes and six Work Packages, fully integrating research and capacity development, and significant policy engagement and outreach.
The overall aim of our proposal is to develop a network of health policy researchers who will undertake analysis of the policy environment and options for governance of selected commercial determinants of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in their countries, so as enable members to contribute to planning, legislation, implementation and evaluation of tailored policies which aim tackle NCDs with a focus on reducing sugar, salt and trans-fat consumption. The network will include researchers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Vietnam. The specific goals are: 1. To develop a network in South Asia, West Asia and North Africa of health policy analysts and strengthen capacity to understand and influence legislation, planning and implementation of NCD-related governance and regulation policies 2. To understand the political and economic climate of participating countries in relation to NCD drivers; 3. To map in each of the seven countries the current policy landscape (existence of policy, levels of implementation) for NCD control, to identify policy gaps and challenges for effective control and identify positive examples of policy formulation and/or implementation (or of other pro-equity population health policies adopted); 4. To identify and map key decision-makers and decision-influencers (key stakeholders) in agenda-setting and policy formulation as they affect the control of NCD risks and explore the facilitators of and challenges to the getting the issue on the agenda and in the adoption of a sound national plan for prevention and control of NCDs, with focus on sugar, trans-fats and salt. This will include an exploration of the current levels of knowledge/understanding regarding NCD drivers and the extent to which policy formulation takes values, particularly equity and fairness, and evidence, particularly of the intersectional distribution of risk and burden of NCDs, explicitly into account; 5. To assess the acceptability, feasibility and palatability of governance and regulation options (focused on salt, sugar and trans-fats) for NCD control; and 6. To build tailored transferrable lessons across participating countries to strengthen capacity to advocate for evidence-informed NCD policies.