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Surveillance and early-warning systems for climate-sensitive diseases in...


A warmer, wetter world is likely to be sicker. The Mekong is a hotspot for human, animal and plant disease, and some of the most important are highly sensitive to climate and climate changes. These diseases impose enormous burdens on human health and the agricultural sector and hinder broader development. Better tackling of climate-sensitive disease requires better information and tools. We identify a portfolio of climate-based information systems that target important diseases and are used successfully in other countries, using action research to adapt them for Vietnam and Laos and ensuring delivery through partnerships.

The expected outcome of the project is farming communities are able to take practical action to reduce disease risk and/or benefit from risk-mitigating action by health providers. The impacts are better health, reduced economic loss from disease, increased food security and ecosystems protected from disease spillover and misuse of agricultural chemicals.

Project outcome statement

The research portfolio consists of surveillance and early-warning systems successfully used elsewhere targeted to important climate-sensitive diseases in Vietnam and Laos. We will build capacity in using these systems through existing partnerships ensuring outcomes. These include the following:

  1. The national task force on food safety in Vietnam, supported by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), will use hot spot maps for targeting surveillance and use of climate-based tools in its training and sensitization, in particular on leptospirosis and Japanese encephalitis.
  2. Rubber farmers in Laos will get mobile Climate Forecast and Advice messages based on information from 20 sets of auto-meteorological stations pledged by the National Climate Center in China who will also provide capacity building and training in their use.
  3. Thousands of health officers and farmers trained by a World Bank project in disease surveillance/reporting in Vietnam will form the core of the participatory disease surveillance and response system. They will send information and receive advice on climate-sensitive disease from model predictions and global platforms. In Laos, the network of primary animal health workers trained by the non-governmental organization Veterinarians without Borders will play a similar role.
  4. Unlike other tools, mycotoxin forecasting has so far only been used in developed countries. While adapting the tool we will explore delivery and outcome pathways with our partners.

Project activities

The project has five activities which will be undertaken by five teams.

  1. Developing and disseminating maps of hot spots of climate-sensitive animal and zoonotic diseases and Vietnam and Laos
  2. Developing and piloting a real-time prediction system for Japanese encephalitis and leptospirosis in people and animals in Vietnam and Laos
  3. Exploring the potential for weather-based forecasting for aflatoxin mitigation
  4. Climate service and early warning system for rubber plantations in northern Laos
  5. Dissemination and application of developed tools of pest forecast


Agrifood Research Finland
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Vietnam National University of Agriculture
World Agroforestry Centre

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

mPig: Mobile SMS learning for pigs - An...

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) identified the pig sector in Uganda as one of nine livestock systems worldwide where research investments are most likely to make a major difference to the livelihoods and diets of poor people. Since 2012, the CGIAR Research Programs Livestock and Fish and on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health have been conducting research on the performance of the pig value chain and the challenges and opportunities for enhancing the pork sector.

This project supports the CGIAR Research Project on Livestock and Fish by piloting innovative methods to disseminate information to pig value chain actors to increase pig growth and reproductive performance on farm, improve market access for poor value chain actors and ultimately improve food security through increased pork production.

The project supports the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health through applications on pig zoonoses, production of safe pork and improved human nutrition. The research will directly build on work by the two CGIAR Research Programs targeting pro-poor smallholder pig value chains in Uganda and funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentIrish Aid and BMZ (through the Safe Food Fair Food project).

The project also links farmers, traders, butchers and consumers to the information platform, thereby greatly enhancing the probability of success and ultimate development impact.


  • Freie Universitaet Berlin
  • Vétérinaires sans Frontières – Germany


  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Addressing bovine tuberculosis at the human-animal interface and...

Peri-urban areas on the fringes of cities in India have witnessed rapid and unsystematic growth in recent years. In response to increased demand for food, traditional agricultural practices have been supplemented by highly intensified, industrial-style production units, often in peri-urban areas.

Agriculture intensification poses significant public health risks, including the potential for zoonotic disease transmission, the emergence of new diseases and the overuse of veterinary antibiotics, which contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance in pathogens affecting humans and animals.

The peri-urban ecosystem in India provides a relevant environment for addressing the challenges of zoonotic diseases and for promoting synergies between health, environment protection and development.

This is a research initiative at the peri-urban human-animal-environment interface for improved local healthy food production, healthy livestock and enhanced public health.

Two major research projects will form an initial basis of the research initiative’s activities: the first focuses on the zoonotic potential of bovine tuberculosis and the second on antibiotic use in peri-urban smallholder dairy farms as risky and unsustainable means of increasing food output.

Each of the studies will culminate into proofs of concept of changed incentives and better practices. These initial research projects in the peri-urban ecosystem will provide a basis for expanding the work of the initiative to identify and address other key development and public health issues in this setting.

General objective
The general objective is to contribute to stronger evidence-based cross-sector policy and local capacity for integrating public health and livestock health, urban planning, local food production and social development in peri-urban settings of India.

Specific objectives
The specific objectives are to:

  1. Establish a policy-relevant research program within an India research initiative on peri-urban human-animal-environment interface housed at the Public Health Foundation of India.
  2. Generate evidence and improved understanding of interactions between disease risk, livestock and human health and sustainable development in different types of peri-urban settings of the country.
  3. Influence the coordination of policy and practice that supports safe food production, healthy livestock and improved public health.
  4. Create and maintain sustainable multidisciplinary and multi-actor partnerships for policy-relevant research aiming at decreasing health and environmental problems from livestock agriculture and overcrowded conditions in peri-urban ecosystems.

Study sites
Bangalore, Guwahati and Mumbai

International Development Research Centre (

Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)

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