Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa

Published on 19 May 2012

Research Areas


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Start Date: 1 February 2012 | End Date: 31 July 2015


Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa is an Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA)-funded research programme designed to deliver much-needed, cutting-edge science on the relationships between ecosystems, zoonoses, health and wellbeing, with the objective of helping people move out of poverty and promoting social justice.

It focuses on four emerging or re-emerging zoonotic diseases in four diverse African ecosystems:

  • Henipavirus infection in Ghana
  • Rift Valley fever in Kenya
  • Lassa fever in Sierra Leone
  • Trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe

Its innovative, holistic approach brings together natural and social scientists to build an evidence base designed to inform global and national policy players seeking effective, integrated approaches to control and check disease outbreaks.

The Drivers of Disease Consortium comprises over 30 researchers working in 17 institutes across Africa, Europe and the US and includes researchers in the environmental, biological, social, political, and human and animal health sciences. They will generate new knowledge on:

  • Ecosystem change
  • How ecology and people’s interactions with ecosystems affect disease emergence
  • Disease transmission and exposure

The partner institutes are:

  • ESRC STEPS Centre, Brighton, UK
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Institute of Zoology, London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University College, London
  • Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, University of Ghana
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya
  • Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
  • University of Nairobi
  • Kenema Government Hospital, Sierra Leone
  • Njala University, Sierra Leone
  • Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Zambia
  • University of Zambia
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Zimbabwe
  • University of Zimbabwe
  • Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • Tulane University, USA

Funding: The programme is funded by a £3.2m grant from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).


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