March 22, 2017. ZEF and IPADS organized a joint symposium in the context of the strategic partnership between the institutes and the University of Bonn and the University of Tokyo. The symposium took place at the University of Tokyo in the Nakashima Hall of the Faculty of Agriculture. The symposium’s main topic was “One Health approach for Africa and Asia – on-site innovation in health, nutrition, and agriculture for rural communities”. Four doctoral students from ZEF were attending the symposium, together with around 40 students and professors from the University of Tokyo.

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After welcome addresses by Prof. Takeshi Tange (Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo) and Prof. Kensuke Okada (IPADS Director) the following four lectures were given:

The concept of One Health. Prof. Christian Borgemeister, ZEF.
The “One Health” concept acknowledges that “the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment”. In the context of development, Prof. Borgemeister stressed that trends such as an increased demand for meat and animal products, agricultural intensification, and the expansion of human’s active area might lead to higher transmission of zoonotic diseases, lower food production, and lower agricultural productivity. These consequences are reflected in major development challenges: hunger, malnutrition and poor health. To address these challenges, Prof. Borgemeister mentioned the One Health Research approach that requires efforts of multiple disciplines collaborating at local, national and global levels to achieve “best health for people, animals, and our environment”. To illustrate these efforts, Prof. Borgemeister described case studies in which research was conducted to address the needs of population groups in Kenya. The first case study consisted of research performed to understand changes in species composition from indoor to outdoor biting mosquitoes, aimed to inform anti-malaria programs in the western coast of Kenya. The second case study referred to factors affecting coffee productivity in Central Kenya under climate change scenarios.

Positive Deviance Approach. Prof. Masamine Jimba, University of Tokyo.
Prof. Masamine Jimba from the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Tokyo presented his research on Positive Deviance Approach (PDA) for infectious disease control in Vietnam. The concept of positive deviance refers to individuals or groups who exhibit “uncommon but successful behaviors” that allow finding better solutions for issues already existing. Prof. Jimba used this approach to tackle issues such as undernourishment of children and transmission of Neglected Tropical Diseases. In his research, Prof. Jimba identifies high-risk human behaviors i.e. poor hygienic habits, ingestion of raw fish, and inadequate preservation of food that lead to infections by liver fluke parasites. The main outcome of his research is to identify behaviors that can be promoted to prevent the spread of these infections observed in the study area. Prof. Jimba emphasizes that the spread of these latent solutions go beyond individual behavior change and can lead significant reduction of cases of liver fluke infections.

One Health Approach for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. Prof. Chizu Sanjoba, University of Tokyo.
Prof. Chizu Sanjoba from the Graduate School of Agricultural and life Sciences of the University of Tokyo discussed the Prof. Chizu Sanjoba from the Graduate School of Agricultural and life Sciences of the University of Tokyo discussed the One Health Approach for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases such as Leishmaniasis in Asia. Prof. Sanjoba discussed the most important strategies for vector control for leishmaniasis in Pabna, Bangladesh such as indoor residual spraying. Her research focused on understanding local knowledge of transmission, control, and treatment of visceral leishmaniasis. Her research shows that even if the knowledge of people who live in endemic areas for this disease is low, the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets as a control mechanism by the community is very high.

Socio-economic transformation of a rural community in Rwanda. Prof. Hirotaka Matsuda, University of Tokyo
Finally, Prof. Hirotaka Matsuda from the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences presented his research on socio-economic transformation of a rural community in Rwanda. His research focused on the health status of children under societal transformation. To understand this, Prof. Matsuda studied the dietary patterns and physical measurements of several households in Eastern Rwanda. The main findings of this research focus on the transformation of society through changes in population dynamics, local issues such as birth control behaviors and land distribution issues.

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