IMMANA Fellow - Mieghan Bruce
Current Employment: Consultant and student, Royal Veterinary College
Home mentor: Jonathan Rushton, Royal Veterinary College (UK)
Host mentor: Furaha Mramba, Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory (Tanzania)
Start date: June 15, 2015
Mieghan holds a PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology from the Royal Veterinary College, UK supervised by Jonathan Rushton, Javier Guitian and Nigel Poole (School of Oriental and African Studies). Her thesis evaluated the impact of brucellosis in Albania, focusing on the economic, social and political determinants of zoonotic diseases and their control.
Animal-source foods (ASF) are some of the best sources of high-quality protein and micronutrients needed for healthy physical and cognitive development, especially among children. Increasing intake of poultry, dairy and other livestock products can alleviate many of the nutritional deficiencies currently experienced in Africa, but raising the availability of these foods is difficult given the complex roles played by animals in African food systems, and the diverse biological and socioeconomic constraints on expanding their productivity. This study focuses on poultry and small ruminants, species that are closely integrated with other farming activities and whose growth is known to be constrained by preventable diseases. Detailed data from two villages will be used to estimate a system-dynamics model of animal production interacting with other activities in the village, and to estimate the cost-effectiveness for human nutrition of investments in disease control for poultry (Aim 1) and small ruminants (Aim 2). The result will be new metrics for ASF interventions to improve nutritional outcomes, in agricultural villages where livestock production is closely integrated with other activities.