Project Updates

Project Updates

The Public Health Foundation of India/Roadmap to Combat Zoonoses in India (RZCI) Initiative in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) embarked on a four-year India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal-Environment Interface (PERIMILK study) in the year 2013. This is the first institutionalised multi-sector effort in the country and region that focuses on food safety and security and animal and public health in peri-urban settings. This section provides updates on the study’s progress in the project sites of Ludhiana, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Udaipur and Bengaluru

Laboratory Testing, a critical piece of the PERIMILK project

Laboratory Testing, a critical piece of the PERIMILK project
The PERIMILK project in its first year signed an MoU with the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) School to carry out residue analysis, zoonoses, food safety, and brucellosis diagnostics. GADVASU’s state-of-the-art laboratories and testing equipment combined with trained lab staff was well placed to provide appropriate lab support to the project.
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Reviewing Final Round of Data Collection

Reviewing Final Round of Data Collection
The study team visited Ludhiana to review the progress of the ongoing intervention phase with respect to data collection and operational challenges. Laboratory results from completed and ongoing testing were reviewed. Detailed discussions with the GADVASU team helped streamline and finalize plans for laboratory testing in phase 2 of intervention.
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Skill Building Workshop held for RCBP Scholars

Skill Building Workshop held for RCBP Scholars
A two-day training workshop for the Research Capacity Building Programme (RCBP) scholars was conducted recently in Gurgaon from November 24-25, 2016, under the Research Capacity Building Programme of the RCZI/PHFI India Research Initiative. It brought together research scholars and their mentors from the streams of veterinary public health, public health, veterinary epidemiology, remote sensing and geoinformatics, and anthropology.
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Research Core Group Discusses Expansion of PERIMILK Research Portfolio
The Research Core Group met on 10th September, 2016 to review Phase 1 of the implementation of the Intervention Phase and to explore the expansion of the PERIMILK Research Portfolio. Feedback from site partners was sought about their experience in the intervention training phase and how some of the mid-course interventions suggested by them would be carried out in the coming months.
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Preliminary Insights from the Intervention Phase of the PERIMILK Study
The Project team embarked on the Intervention phase by visiting three project sites, namely Bangalore, Guwahati and Ludhiana. The two-day workshop entailed training of trainers (ToT) as per the schedule and plan that had been finalised by the Research Group a few months ago. In each of these sites, 10-12 participants were trained as trainers.
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Core Group Meets to Finalise Operational Plan for Roll-out of Intervention Phase
Following up on the 7th April, 2016 Meeting of the Core Group of the India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal-Environment Interface, the group reconvened on 23rd and 24th July, 2016 in Gurgaon. The group reviewed progressed made so far and helped finalise the operational plan for the intervention phase which would roll out in August, 2016.
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Qualitative study team visits Ludhiana and Bangaluru
The PERIMILK study has a qualitative arm that seeks to establish greater understanding of the management systems and functioning of select dairy farms that lie in peri urban areas. It will profile routine activities performed by men and women during the course of wet and dry period; assess community’s perception about the role played by them in managing routine farm activities.
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Site Visits: Operational Plan for Intervention Phase Finalised
The PHFI/RCZI team working on the PERIMILK study, visited the Ludhiana and Guwahati sites to discuss the operational aspects for the roll-out of the intervention phase. Detailed presentations were made and discussions ensued with the project and research teams at GADVASU, Ludhiana and the Department of Veterinary Public Health, Assam Agricultural University.
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Expert Group Meeting Initiates Development of Intervention Package for PERIMILK Study
With the baseline survey completed in all five sites, planning for the intervention phase has been initiated. This would be carried out in the three cities of Ludhiana, Bangluru and Guwahati. The findings from the PERIMILK study will guide the intervention phase in developing best practices that serve as sustainable.
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Applications Received for Masters and PhD Fellowships
Within the PERIMILK study, the Research Capacity Building Programme 2016-18 aims to provide a platform for young researchers to explore an EcoHealth approach to research related to local healthy food production, healthy livestock, and prevention and control of zoonotic diseases.
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Spatial Analysis to be Conducted for PERIMILK Study
Looking into spatial drivers and identifying spatial correlation across predictor variables in relation to healthy food production, healthy livestock and zoonotic diseases at human-animal-environment interface, have been identified as a priority.
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Research Group Meeting Reviews Progress
A Consultation with all five site partners and core research group members was held from 17-20 January, 2016 in New DelhI, to review the operational guidelines and roll-out plan.
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From the Field: Status of Baseline Survey and Testing
Data collection and qualitative surveys have been completed for all five projects sites, namely, Udaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore, Guwahati and Ludhiana. The milk samples that were collected have been safely stored in the GADVASU laboratory in Ludhiana. The laboratory testing for Brucellosis and E. coli have been completed for Bangalore, Bhubanwswar, Ludhiana and Guwahati.
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Research Prioritisation Training & Stakeholder Analysis Conducted in Odisha
An important objective of the India Research Initiative on Human-Animal-Environment Interface is to equip researchers with skill sets to enable them fulfil information needs of policymakers, providing customised solutions for local problems, while establishing a cohort of skilled researchers.
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Training Odisha Field Team on Data Acquisition & Quality Assurance
A two-day, interactive, workshop on “Data Acquisition and Quality Assurance for Setting Research Priorities in Zoonoses in Odisha” was held on 27-28 February by RCZI/PHFI, in collaboration with KIIT School of Public Health (KSPH) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
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Context Setting
Peri-urban settings are marked by rapid growth and increased contact between humans, animals and the environment. The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have come together to establish an applied research programme housed within PHFI under the India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal-Environment Interface.
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Embarking on the Inception Phase
The inception phase of the Initiative involved extensive research, assessments and stakeholder engagement. This was followed by identifying priority issues that needed to be addressed in order to bring about greater improvement of public health, livestock health and sustainable development in peri-urban livestock farms. The conviction being that only once this was done would the stage be set for policy-relevant research.
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Identifying Project Sites and Including Additional Sites
As per the initial protocol, it was decided to conduct the study in peri-urban areas surrounding Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. These were going to be based on the different levels of population density and urbanisation in a manner that could help establish a reasonable comparison of the public and animal health situations across ecotypes.
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Finalising Leadership Team
The selection of the right NGO was critical for smooth implementation, providing information on study sites, conducting census, rapport building with communities, setting up interviews with dairy farmers and seeking consent and other clearances.
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Data Collection Begins
The RCZI team has taken a number of steps to make the data collection process smooth, accurate and efficient. For the first time, the team is using tablets to collect data from the field. This will increase speed and efficiency of data collection. The data that is collected in the tablet is directly transferred to the main server housed at PHFI, New Delhi at the end of data collection each day.
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PHFI/RCZI – ILRI Supported Research Capacity Building Programme for Masters and PhD Researchers
The PHFI/RCZI Initiative in collaboration with ILRI announces a Research Capacity Building Programme for Masters and PhD candidates under the India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal Environment Interface (PERIMILK study) with funding support from IDRC, Canada.
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