USAID awards $6 million for Animal Health Innovation Lab in East Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a five-year, USD6 million grant with an opportunity to grow to $16 million to help develop a regional Feed the Future Animal Health Innovation Lab and research program based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The lab will identify interventions to reduce livestock diseases, particularly the deadly cattle disease known as East Coast fever and further develop local capacity in animal health through research training and institutional development.

Leading the new regional animal health lab and program will be Washington State University and Allen School for Global Health, which works with other top US universities and developing-country institutions in tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges in agriculture and food security.

The Allen School’s Global Health-Kenya will take an interdisciplinary approach to addressing livestock diseases, working in partnership with scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and University of Nairobi (UoN).

According to Dr. Thumbi Mwangi, associate professor at the Allen School and director of the Animal Health Innovation Lab, over 20 million small-scale dairy farmers and pastoralists in East and Central Africa are affected by the disease. Improving animal diseases control, is critical in reducing malnutrition and improving livelihoods of livestock-dependent communities.

“We are honored and eager to work with the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative to support families and improve their household economies by mitigating poor animal health in the eastern, southern and central Africa regions.” he added.

The Grant according to the principal investigator from the University of Nairobi, Prof George Gitau, will also support the training of 9 PhD and 5 MSc students.

Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food-security initiative that works hand-in-hand with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.

Photo courtesy / Google

Article by Research Beeline correspondent