Africa and the Middle East
FOOD AND HEALTH IN RURAL LEBANON: OPTIONS TO IMPROVE DIETARY DIVERSITY, FOOD SECURITY, LIVELIHOODS AND ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT
Faculty: Faculty of Health Sciences
Unit: School of Human Kinetics
Funding Agency: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Description: In recent years, Lebanon has seen the decline of the traditional diet in favour of a less diverse and less healthy westernized diet. At the same time, rural ecosystems are deteriorating due to urban encroachment, water pollution and land abandonment. As a result of these factors, the rural poor are facing new and different health challenges, such as micronutrient deficiency, under-nutrition and a steep rise in non-communicable diseases. These health issues may be further aggravated by the recent rise in global food prices and the global financial crisis. The rural poor, particularly women, children and those living in marginalized communities, are most affected. Building on the findings of earlier research, this project further analyzes the potential of rural ecosystems to support healthy people. Researchers assess the human and cultural benefits of rural ecosystems, the environmental and socio-cultural feasibility of local land-based food strategies, and the risks associated with an ecosystem-based food and health model. The overall goal is to devise practical interventions and policy options for improving dietary diversity, food security and health in poor and vulnerable Lebanese communities.
Project website: http://www.aub.edu.lb/units/ibsar/programs/fhrl/Pages/default.aspx
OPEN AIR PROJECT: AFRICAN INNOVATION RESEARCH AND TRAINING: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN OPEN DEVELOPMENT
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Unit: Common Law Section
Funding Agency: International Development Research Centre (IDRC); German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Description: The project investigates how intellectual property regimes can be harnessed in Africa to facilitate innovation through collaboration. Building on the success of a previous project, Open AIR invests in pan-African research, networking, capacity-building and policy engagement.
SCALING UP TREATMENT TO REDUCE POPULATION HIV INCIDENCE
Faculty: Faculty of Health Sciences
Unit: Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences
Funding Agency: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
Description: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a threat to global health and economic stability. In spite of ongoing prevention efforts, such strategies have had limited success in decreasing the number of new infections. Combination Antiretroviral Therapy (cART) is a successful multi-drug therapy for reducing illness and death among those receiving it. cART reduces the amount of virus in the body and has been successfully used to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the infection. The research group aims to determine if expanded cART use in populations with a high level of HIV infected people can reduce the number of new infections in the community. Many households in the Bushenyi and Gulu districts are sampled and researchers conduct ongoing HIV testing and collect sexually transmitted infection (STI) data on consenting adults (15-59 years of age). They conduct a yearly survey with participants addressing risk factors and will dramatically scale-up cART access in these districts using a novel design called a “step wedge” design that allows the team the increase access to specific populations at specific time points. This study provides strong inferences about the use of cART to prevent new HIV infections. It will identify infected individuals early and provide clinical care to them.