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Ecosystem approaches to improving water health

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GRF 2nd One Health Summit 2013: Presentation by David Clement Hall, University of Calgary

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Ecosystem approaches to improving water health

  1. 1. Ecosystem approaches to improving water health David Hall, DVM, PhD and Quynh Ba Le, MD, MPH dchall@ucalgary.ca GRF Davos One Health Summit 2013 November 18, 2013 Davos, Switzerland
  2. 2. Vietnam – quick facts • Population c. = 91,520,000 • Rapid rise in GDP/person • $1,130/person (2010) • high income disparity • Poverty rate (<$150/yr.) c.15% • 80% of poor are farmers • High read/write literacy (94% age 15 and over) • 70% of provinces, water does not meet WHO coliform std. Map: University of Texas map library
  3. 3. Vietnam – poultry, rice, and water are ubiquitous Photo: D. Hall
  4. 4. 6 Methodological Pillars of Ecohealth  Recognize complexity of systems  Transdisciplinary research  Participatory approach/ Communities  Gender and social equity research  Sustainability  Knowledge to Action www.idrc.ca
  5. 5. “Ecosystem approaches to improved water and farm health in Vietnam” Photos: D Hall and QB Le unless otherwise noted.
  6. 6. A transdisciplinary team UC Veterinary Medicine UPEI Atlantic Veterinary College Hanoi School of Public Health Water Resources University Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 Natl. Inst. of Veterinary Research Villagers, government, and industry
  7. 7. The global health problem to address Agriculture, water, and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) • Integrated agriculture is important to low income Vietnamese farmers • Limited health knowledge leads to increased risk of EIDs • Waste management is a concern
  8. 8. The basic idea (the intervention) • Water testing is: • complicated • time consuming • expensive • Results difficult to translate to action
  9. 9. The basic idea (the intervention) •Simplify water testing •Include basic: • water health understanding • livestock management • public health knowledge
  10. 10. Assumption • Understanding farmers’ perceptions of water health plus objective assessment and training is critical to changing risky behaviour.
  11. 11. Study design Stage 1: Data gathering • What is the public health knowledge of small scale livestock and aquaculture producers? • Does this influence their mitigation strategies for emerging infectious diseases? • What is the level of [coliform bacteria] in water used for aquaculture and for households?
  12. 12. Study design • A cross-section of 600 poor, small scale, mixed agriculture farmers in Thai Binh and An Giang.
  13. 13. Study design Stage 2: Quantitative and qualitative analysis • Is there some association between understanding of (pond) water health and mitigation strategies? Examining relations between: • Producer perceptions • Water health • Livestock and aquatic management • Mitigation strategies
  14. 14. Study design Stage 3: Develop on-farm training & low cost water test kits • Partnering with public and private sector • Revisit farms to examine adoption, change, sustainability issues • Implications for policy formulation?
  15. 15. Water testing and purification – industrial partners
  16. 16. Stage 1 complete (data gathering) • • • • • 600 small scale producers hhld income < $1000 / annum education c. 7 years low public health knowledge some public health awareness Observations preliminary: not for distribution.
  17. 17. Stage 2 underway (data analysis)  97% of farmers do not “trust” their water quality • 75% of household water from rain or wells • lack of trust – relates to some health incident  identify concern for 2 water related zoonotic diseases • “worms” (Trematoda sp., ascarids) • avian influenza  >85% would welcome training in water public health Observations preliminary: not for distribution.
  18. 18. UN VN Joint Programme – Controlling EIDs Photos: D. Hall
  19. 19. Stage 2 underway (data analysis) Most think untreated water can be harmful but … … 95-98% do not have their water tested. Observations preliminary: not for distribution.
  20. 20. Stage 2 underway (data analysis) Media (TV) a highly important source of (mis?)information (>85%) Observations preliminary: not for distribution.
  21. 21. Ecohealth in Vietnam: preliminary findings Low level awareness of bacterial pathogens Chart: Quynh Ba Le
  22. 22. Ecohealth in Vietnam: preliminary findings DRINKING WATER 80% of samples do not meet WHO standard for fecal coliforms Chart: Quynh Ba Le
  23. 23. Ecohealth in Vietnam: preliminary findings • There is some awareness of public health concepts in principle • Coliform bacteria levels in pond or drinking water is not acceptable • Influence on mitigation strategies is not clear • Conclusions will inform water policy formulation
  24. 24. Ecosystem approaches to improving water health  water is a complex resource that requires management  community participation matters  transdisciplinary approaches are essential  science informs policy formulation  addressing underlying health determinants impact on water health • e.g., gender and economic equity
  25. 25. Cám O’n!
  26. 26. Ecosystem approaches to improving water health David Hall, DVM, PhD and Quynh Ba Le, MD, MPH dchall@ucalgary.ca GRF Davos One Health Summit 2013 November 18, 2013 Davos, Switzerland

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