Ecosystems and One Health

Swiss TPH specialists analyse health within broader social and ecological systems. This allows them to better identify emerging determinants of health from single pathogens to social and ecological contexts and to better react to pressing global health challenges. Answering research questions of societal relevance, experts rely on different scientific disciplines as well as on the knowledge of academics, policy-makers and the local population. They develop, validate and implement health risk and health impact assessment approaches for projects, policies and programmes and design frameworks in order to identify health interventions with the highest economic, ecologic and social leverage.

Improving the Health of Mobile Populations in Chad

70% of all infectious diseases affecting humans are transmitted by animals. Health specialists at Swiss TPH acknowledge the strong interrelation between humans, animals and the natural environment. They foster collaboration between human and veterinary medicine, for instance by establishing joint vaccination schemes. A new project in Chad aims at increasing adult vaccination coverage amongst the mobile pastoralists by offering a mix between mobile, outreach and fixed vaccination services.

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Jijiga One Health Initiative

The “Jigjiga One Health Initiative” aims to strengthen research capacities at the University of Jigjiga, Ethiopia, and to improve the health of mobile pastoralists in the Somali Regional State. The initiative was able to arouse the interest of the president of the Federal Council, Simonetta Sommaruga, who visited the project during an official journey in 2015. The project is financed by the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swiss TPH. 

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Vegetables Go to School

Swiss TPH and partners tackle the problem of malnutrition in Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines, especially among children. Experts promote growing vegetables at schools and study the interplay between nutrition and health. The project is running for five years and is part of a larger international movement to improve nutritional security and reduce malnutrition. It promotes integrated WASH, nutrition and health interventions and is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

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Despite economic growth, 87 million Indonesians remain vulnerable to food insecurity.

Costa Rica is one of the world's leading countries when it comes to the application of pesticides.

Hormonal Activity of Pesticides

Swiss TPH studies the hormonal activities of pesticides in Africa and Latin America. Together with the EAWAG, scientists establish a detailed picture of how pesticides are applied in rural areas in Costa Rica, to what extend the health of humans is affected. The extensive use of pesticides in the agrarian sector of many countries poses a challenge to human health. Pesticides might contain hormonal active substances that enter the human food chain, disturb metabolic processes and cause chronic disease.

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Health Impact Assessment

Swiss TPH is specialised in health impact assessment of large infrastructure projects like dams, mines and plantations in low-income countries in Africa. For example in Zambia a company runs a large copper mine employing over 6500 workers. Experts did a baseline health survey within the communities at the beginning of the activities in 2008 and a follow-up study four years later. They advise the company about what measure to take in order to mitigate potential negative health consequences for the people living in the project area.

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The Kalumbila copper mine in Zambia has Africa's largest conveyor belt.
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