International Research Consortium on Environmental Change and Health in Eastern Africa Led by Trinity College Dublin Awarded EU-Framework Programme 7 Funding

Posted on: 07 July 2010

An international research programme into environmental change and health in Eastern Africa led by Trinity College has been awarded a major EU research grant.  The research consortium of Europe and Africa-based researchers in 15 institutions secured the €4 million grant under the Environment and Health Sub-activity of the European Union’s Framework 7 Programme. 

The project, led by TCD’s Professor of Geography in the School of Natural Sciences, David  Taylor, seeks to better understand links between environmental, including climate changes and outbreaks of water-related, vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in Africa. The study will target three VBDs − malaria, Rift Valley Fever and schistosomiasis − that currently have a crippling impact on human and animal health and livelihoods in many parts of Africa.  Titled ‘HEALTHY FUTURES’*, the research is scheduled to run for four years.

Commenting on the significance of the project, Dr David Taylor says:  “The research aims to build a disease risk mapping system for three water-related high-impact VBDs, accounting for environmental/climatic trends to predict future risk.  Concentrating on eastern Africa as a study area, and working directly with member states of the recently expanded East African Community (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania), the research involves a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary consortium of health, environment, socio-economic and climate experts in addition to staff in government health departments”.

“The health effects of environmental change should be of major concern for the global community.  The effects will be felt most acutely among the poorest members of society, who already carry a disproportionately high share of the costs of environmental change impacts.  Environmental change will impact on health in a multitude of ways. The impacts may be direct, in terms of outbreaks of disease among human populations, or indirect, for example in the form of outbreaks of diseases that affect domesticated animals or plants, and therefore jeopardise food security, agriculture-based economic activities and trade.  This concern provides the motivation for ‘HEATHLY FUTURES’.” 



‘HEALTHY FUTURES’ is an acronym for the project ‘Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity: mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa’