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  • Report on Synergies and Collaborations

    The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Unions Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 266327. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which maybe made of the information contained therein.







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    HEALTHY FUTURES Report on Synergies and Collaborations (D7.5)

    1. HEALTHY FUTURES overview

    HEALTHY FUTURES (Health, Environmental Change and Adaptive Capacity: mapping, examining & anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa) is an FP7-funded project that aims to address the risk of outbreaks and transmission of three water-related vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in eastern Africa: malaria, schistosomiasis and Rift Valley fever (RVF).

    Motivated by the knowledge that each year an estimated 2.4 million environmental health-related deaths in Africa are avoidable, and that the effects of environmental change will be felt most acutely by the poorest members of society, HEALTHY FUTURES strives to further understand the relationship between climate and health in eastern Africa. An understanding of links between climate, societal changes and health can help in the prediction and costing of the health impacts of climate change, as will increased awareness of the possible health impacts of environmental change.

    2. IntroductionAs HEALTHY FUTURES is now in its final year it is important to not only focus on the scientific outputs but to also acknowledge and promote the synergies and collaborations which have developed over the course of the project. A number of collaborations and synergies with climate and health-related projects funded by the EU and other non-EU stakeholders have been established and have grown and strengthened since the initiation of HEALTHY FUTURES. This report will highlight these synergies discussing the benefits that collaboration, cross-fertilization and networking have had within the scope of the project.

    3. Africa - EU ClusterThe Africa-EU Partnership is a formal channel through which the European Union and African Union collaborate and work together. The partnership emanated from the second Africa-EU Summit of 2007, during which eighty heads of State or Government from Africa and the EU took the Africa-EU relationship to a new, strategic level by deciding upon and implementing The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership A Joint Africa-EU Strategy. The Joint Africa-EU Strategy sets out both sides intention to move beyond a donor-recipient relationship towards long-term cooperation on jointly identified, mutual and complementary interests. It is based on principles of ownership, partnership and solidarity. One of the strategic priorities of the joint strategy is focused on the development of knowledge-based societies which aim to address the scientific divide and increase Africas research capacities. Furthermore there is a specific strategy to improve health in Africa through promoting research, particularly on issues relating to water-borne disease. The strategy also has a clearly defined priority to effectively respond to climate change, building the capacity for adaptation and mitigation.

    One outcome of the aforementioned strategy was the EU-FP7 Africa Call through which HEALTHY FUTURES is funded. This call focused on addressing some of the science and technology objectives of the Africa EU Strategic Partnership putting emphasis on both water and food security and a better health for Africa. In 2011, the projects focused on water related issues, which received funding from this call, came together to form the AU-EU cluster. This cluster works to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge between projects funded through the Africa-call, stimulating synergies and increasing the impact of each project through coordinated dissemination actions. The cluster

    Total Budget 4,194,963 EC Contribution 3,377,998 Duration January 2011 December 2014 (48 months) Coordinator Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Consortium 16 partners: 8 Africa-based, 7 Europe-based, 1 Asia-based

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    HEALTHY FUTURES Report on Synergies and Collaborations (D7.5)

    The AU-EU cluster is comprised of the following projects:


    Health, environmental change and adaptive capacity: mapping, examining and anticipating future risks of water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa

    QWeCIQuantifying Weather and Climate Impacts on Health in Developing Countries

    WATERBIOTECH Biotechnology for Africas sustainable water supply


    European Union and African Union cooperative research to increase food production in irrigated farming systems in Africa

    AfriCAN ClimateDevelopment, operation and promotion of a web-based Knowledge Platform

    AFROMAISONAfrica at meso-scale: Adaptive and integrated tools and strategies on natural resources management

    WAHARA Water Harvesting for Rainfed Africa

    DEWFORA Drought monitoring, forecasting and adaptation

    is comprised of eight projects which address issues such as water and irrigated farming systems, water harvesting, natural resources management, drought monitoring, forecasting and adaptation, waste water treatment by means of biotechnology and finally, water-related vector-borne diseases.

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    HEALTHY FUTURES Report on Synergies and Collaborations (D7.5)

    A number of AU-EU cluster meetings have been held with representatives attending from each project. Discussions which took place during one such meeting, held in Brussels, December 2012, at which a HEALTHY FUTURES representative was present, focused on potential joint dissemination strategies in order to present a common front at a policy and stakeholder levels. A result of this discussion has led to HEALTHY FUTURES being featured, in conjunction with the EU-FP7 funded project QWeCI, in one of a series of short reportages which present climate change and water issues focusing on agriculture, ecosystems, natural hazards, health and technologies. The short video is currently being produced by Africa Turns Green and will not be used for television broadcasts but will instead be used by HEALTHY FUTURES as a tool to educated researchers, stakeholders and the general public about the impacts of climate change on health and more specifically to present the research and outputs of the HEALTHY FUTURES project. It will also serve the purpose of increasing the education and awareness of students in both Europe and Africa.

    4. QWeCIQWeCI (Quantifying Weather and Climate Impacts on health in developing countries) is the sister project of HEALTHY FUTURES and received funding from the same EU-FP7 programme. The project, which concluded in July 2013, based its research in west and southern Africa (Ghana, Malawi and Senegal) and worked to produce both dynamic and statistical vector-borne disease models, driven by climate variability and climate change trends from climate models and observations, for both malaria and Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Collaboration between these two projects was ideal, as QWeCI, with a focus on seasonal to decadal time scales naturally complimented HEALTHY FUTURES focus on climate change timescales.

    Dr. Andy Morse, from the University of Liverpool (UNILIV), was the scientific coordinator of QWeCI and is also a partner within the HEALTHY FUTRES consortium. Two other HEALTHY FUTURES partners, namely the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) were also members of the QWeCI consortium. This link has facilitated close collaboration and a sharing of resources, expertise and experiences between the two projects.

    Dr. Andy Morse has praised the collaboration between the two projects stating that there have been great synergies between QWeCI and HEALTHY FUTURES particularly in relation to a number of malaria and Rift Valley Fever models. The Liverpool Malaria Model (LMM) initially developed under the scope of QWeCI has been further improved by HEALTHY FUTURES and a new malaria model, called VecTri, has also been developed by ICTP. The Rift Valley fever model originally created by UNILIV during the QWeCI project has been further refined and completed within the remit of HEALTHY FUTURES. This has allowed for interests and skills at ILRI to be sustained after the completion of QWeCI by facilitating the visit of a HEALTHY FUTURES PhD student from ILRI, John Gachohi, to Liverpool.

    Other crossovers between the two projects include the use of seasonal forecast runs in East Africa within HEALTHY FUTURES as well as the development of climate change timescales for the impacts of future malaria distributions in the region. ICTP have spent much time working with users in the HEALTHY FUTURES study region to build capacity in the use of malaria forecast information, something that was also an important component in QWeCI.

    The successful collaboration between HEALTHY FUTURES and QWeCI has culminated in a number of jointly organised events. The first of these consisted of a session held at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly held in Vienna, Austria, April 2012. The session CL2.5 Climate and infectious disease interactions consisted of six oral and twelve poster presentations which focused on a wide range of topics from how climate anomalies and extremes influence the distribution of infectious disease to the use of statistical and dynamical modelling of malaria and RVF. The session was co-convened by partners from both projects in