HEALTHY FUTURES activities will be spread over a period of four years, focusing on three diseases in the eastern African Region. The choice of eastern Africa as a study area acknowledges the necessity of willingness at all levels of society – including supra-national organisations such as the EAC and EU - to implement the findings and increased understanding that accrue from scientific research in order to mitigate effectively the negative effects of environmental, including climate change.
The HEALTHY FUTURES project is divided into seven inter-linked Work Packages (WP) to achieve its aims, and resolve the research questions raised.The WPs will achieve this by;
1) providing effective management and monitoring of the research project and ensure that the agreed deliverables are met and implemented at local, national and regional levels (WP1),
2) ensuring that full benefits are derived from synergies between this research project and other related research projects on the continent of Africa and beyond (WP7),
3) developing policy-relevant simulations of future levels of environmental correlates of the three VBDs based on regionally- and seasonally-specific climate change projections and on realistic future scenarios of socioeconomic conditions and land use/land cover (notably agricultural extensification and intensification, urbanisation and the development of temporary settlements) (WPs 2,3,4),
4) critically reviewing and, if necessary, supplementing existing evidence in the study area that describes relationships between environment (including climate) and health and make whatever recommendations are deemed necessary regarding the harmonisation of data collection, storage and analysis (WPs 1,2,3),
5) combining the simulations outlined in 3) above with understanding of the epidemiology of the targeted VBDs – including past linkages between changes in environmental and socio-economic conditions and outbreaks of the targeted infectious diseases - to model, dynamically, VBD emergence and spread and to improve (constrain) assessments of risks of future outbreaks (WPs 3,4),
6) enhancing the capacity of health and veterinary services at local, national and regional (supra-national) levels to respond to changes in risk of transmission and outbreaks of the targeted VBDs as a result of a convergence of changing climatic, land use and socio-economic conditions through the provision and effective implementation of decision support tools (WP5),
7) ensuring that the findings of the research are widely disseminated among stakeholders, policy-makers and the global scientific community and that the results, including the Decision Support tools, are made available to interested parties in areas of disease outbreaks in other parts of Africa (i.e. beyond the boundaries of the study area) and, if relevant, form part of an early warning system for Europe (WP6).
The WPs have been designed to ensure efficient project management and the effective production and dissemination of project deliverables on schedule and to budget. The consortium comprises environmental change, human and animal health, social and political science and climate change adaptation expertise in 15 institutions located on the continents of Africa and Europe. Several WPs have been given co-leaders, at least one of whom is from Africa and at least one from Europe.