There is a 10 million dollar research opportunity for proactive disease identification, monitoring and elimination. I am currently looking for partners interested in furthering a proposal, a rough draft/ idea of the proposal is below. The final proposal submission deadline is in April. I have previous experience with the InVEST nutrient retention tool and am now looking to employ the MESH tool in this project. If you are interested in collaborating please let me know.
Around a quarter of youth deaths are due to a degraded environment. Disease hotspot areas (Africa, Asia, Latin America) are disproportionately affected by degraded environment and diseases. Faming families in these hotspot areas, have access to valuable virologic data and the ability to help in disease intervention efforts. One intervention technique is to monetarily incentivize farmers for protecting and increasing the natural resources on their land that provide health benefits. These incentives ease the financial burden of these farming families and allows youth from these households to collaborate on disease research. Collaborating with youth on disease research and data collection can be the first step in their education to eventually fulfill a role in the health workforce.
Sampling of soil and feces provides data on bacteria, parasites, viruses and other factors that might affect the health of a population. Educational institutions are central hubs where youth can bring the samples they collect to be analyzed. A network of youth backed by educational institutions increases efficiency, standardizes collection procedures, and helps to comply with laws and regulations. Years are needed in order for youth to complete educational pursuits. Monitoring the samples collected throughout the education period, informs us about the health situation being experienced in these disease hotspots areas. When the levels of health threats (bacteria, viruses) spike in these samples, we can be ready to take appropriate measures.
Before reactive measures are taken, farmers are working on proactive measures. The health services that farmers lands provide (clean air, clean water) are able to be monetarily quantified with tools like those provided by the Natural Capital Project. By incentivizing farmers to improve and maintain these health services, greater health benefits are able to be provided and there is less chance of disease spillover.
This project effects health in a multi-faceted manner. By educating and supporting youth there is reduced deaths from pregnancy complications, decreased obesity, less use of drugs, and better mental health. By supporting farmers, species present in the area are less threatened by deforestation and there is less disease spillover. The surrounding community’s health increases from the increased health benefits being provided to them by the increased from the increased number of natural resources on farmers land.