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Allen School Program Detects Disease Symptoms in Kenyan Communities

Dr. Susan Noh (far left), research
pathologist with the CVM and USDA
Animal Disease Research Unit, and Dr.
Guy Palmer (far right), Allen School
director with CDC/KEMRI Project Head,
Dr. Kariuki Njenga (front) and
epidemiologist Dr. Peninah Munyua, in
Kenya.
The Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi to conduct a wide-scale survey on animal disease in the Nyanza Province of western Kenya. Together with questions regarding human symptoms, community interviewers will ask up to 6000 families if their animals also show symptoms of disease or illness.

In Kenya, where animals outnumber humans by more than 20 million, people and animals live close together, which puts them at a greater risk of contracting an infectious disease from their animals, known as zoonosis. Zoonotic disease may cause diarrhea, fever, or other potentially life-threatening symptoms in people. And because the livelihood of these families depends on healthy livestock, controlling animal disease is also essential for their overall welfare.

“The thing that drives us is to understand what animal diseases have the greatest impact on human health and household welfare,” said Dr. Terry McElwain, Allen School professor and associate director. “That will direct informed decisions as to where to invest and intervene.”

Data from this study will help policymakers set health priorities and decide where resources should be used to do the most good.
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Global Animal Health Pathway New Class Begins

Global Animal Health Pathways
students and professors. The class gives
students the opportunity to tackle real-
world issues about the human health
and socioeconomic impacts of animal
disease.
Students in the Allen School are learning about current global animal health challenges in a new graduate course titled “Animal Human Disease Interface.” As part of the Global Animal Health Pathway Program, this class gives students the opportunity to tackle real-world issues about the human health and socioeconomic impacts of animal disease. Rabies vaccination programs in dogs, for instance, can save children’s lives in rural African villages, but resource availability can have a great impact on their success.

“We encourage students to think about the challenges and possible solutions for intervention programs,” said Dr. Petronella Hove, currently a doctoral candidate in the Allen School and one of the co-organizers of the class. “Something as seemingly simple as having enough personnel and resources to administer rabies vaccinations, can greatly affect the spread of disease.”
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Global Animal Health Pathway Program Update

The second cohort of students in the Pathway program completed the joint University of Washington-WSU course in global health. The class was video-conferenced from the UW Department of Global Health to WSU veterinary students and WWAMI students on the Pullman campus. Students admitted to the program continue with in-depth case analysis, led by Dr. Terry McElwain, Allen School professor and associate director.

The program is currently seeking certificate status with the WSU Faculty Senate.
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Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

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