The aim of the CGIAR’s research program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) is to maximize the health and nutrition benefits of agricultural development, and to reduce the associated health risks. One of the five ‘Flagship Programs’ of A4NH is run jointly by LSHTM and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILR), and is called “Improving Human Health” (IHH). It is concerned with the side-effects of agriculture on infectious disease, especially:
- The effects of agricultural landscapes, and environmental change driven by agriculture, on vector-borne disease
- The effects of agriculture on zoonotic disease risks
- Interactions between human- and agricultural interventions, especially resistance to antibiotics.
Many vector-borne diseases are affected by agricultural landscapes, and one of the most important examples, in terms of burden of morbidity and mortality, is rice and malaria in Africa. Mosquitoes breed in ricefields everywhere, but this is a particular problem in Africa because the main ricefield-breeding mosquito species is Anopheles gambiae, which is the main African malaria-vector and the most efficient vector in the world.
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