The Project

The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) jointly embarked on a four-year India research initiative on the Peri-Urban Human-Animal-Environment Interface in 2013. This applied research programme is currently housed within PHFI under an “India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal-Environment Interface”. Both organisations have been dedicatedly working in the area of zoonoses, which has a strong connect with peri-urban settings. The aim is to produce a resource-efficient multi-stakeholder platform for research and to sustain a community of researchers and practitioners to promote evidence-based coordinated policy and practice related to local healthy food production, healthy livestock, and prevention and control of zoonotic diseases.

Immediate goals of the project

  • Strengthen local capacity for integrating public health and livestock health, urban planning, local food production and social development in peri-urban settings of India
  • Contribute to creating stronger evidence-based cross-sector policy

Long-term goals of the project

  • Establish a policy-relevant research programme within the “India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal-Environment Interface”
  • Generate evidence and improved understanding of interactions between disease risk, livestock and human health and sustainable development in different types of peri-urban settings of the country
  • Influence coordination of policy and practice that supports safe food production, healthy livestock and improved public health
  • Create and maintain sustainable multidisciplinary and multi-actor partnerships for policy-relevant research aimed at decreasing health and environmental problems from livestock agriculture and overcrowded conditions in peri-urban ecosystems

As part of the Initiative two major research projects in the peri-urban eco system have been identified and will form an initial basis of activities. They will culminate into proofs of concept of changed incentives and better practices and will identify and address other key development and public health issues in this setting. These studies will focus on the zoonotic potential of bovine tuberculosis; and antibiotic use in small holder dairy farms as risky and unsustainable means of increasing food output.

What makes this project unique
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. Since this setting is especially vulnerable given the rapid growth and increased contact between humans, animals, and the environment, this joint research initiative will address important needs on zoonoses and public health within the country. As the first applied research programme on small-holder dairy farms in peri-urban settings, it will guide other countries in the region to observe and learn from.
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