HEALTHY FUTURES project aims to address risk of outbreaks, transmission of VBDs

Important outputs are starting to arise from the HEALTHY FUTURES (Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity) project, which aims to address the risk of outbreaks and transmission of three water-related vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in eastern Africa. HEALTHY FUTURES is now past its halfway point, with less than eighteen months of the project remaining.

One of the key outcomes of HEALTHY FUTURES will be the introduction of decision support tools (DSTs) designed to assist health planners' formulation, assessment and comparison of strategies for managing human responses to disease risks for the three target diseases (malaria, schistosomiasis and Rift Valley fever) of the project.

The DSTs currently being developed through HEALTHY FUTURES will be introduced to stakeholders in preliminary form at a meeting on 24-25 February 2014 at the International Livestock Research Institute's facilities in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim of the meeting is to refine the DSTs, with the end-users in mind, prior to their implementation, through consultation with stakeholders.

The development and application of DSTs aimed at facilitating adaptation to the health impacts of environmental changes present many challenges: the meeting involving stakeholders will be considered a success if progress is made towards achieving effective communication between decision makers and health researchers about the design and use of DSTs relating to the HEALTHY FUTURES project. Effective communication will provide a firm foundation for stakeholder uptake, ownership and further development of the DSTs, their dissemination and their use beyond the project end. 



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