Case Study Concept
Implementation of case studies for defined epidemiological situations in the field will enable information to be obtained rapidly in specific defined situations that will be of immediate use to policy makers. Basic information will be obtained for the design of control programmes, awareness generation and to support advocacy. Where control programmes are ongoing case studies may take the form of operational research. The case studies will provide the following:
- Assessment of the DALYs borne by individuals affected by the diseases,
- Assessment of the cost of the disease to livestock production,
- Identification of risk factors in both people and animals with a view to successfully targeting at-risk groups for high priority intervention,
- Methodology for quantifying the rate of disease under-reporting in humans and animals,
- Assessment of the efficacy of disease control tools, and
- Assessment of the efficacy of control and prevention strategies, and their appropriateness for the communities and agencies concerned, emphasizing the role of women in both.
Each case study will therefore generate field data which feeds back into multiple work packages and thus form the core of the ICONZ project.
Case Study Development
The work packages (WPS3-10) will be in undertaken in the context of a number of case studies to be conducted in seven of the ICPCs participating in ICONZ, namely Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. (South Africa, another participating ICPC, will provide support through epidemiological modelling at SACEMA, Stellenbosch University, but will not host a case study.) These case studies will span a representative range of situations where one or more of the neglected zoonotic disease clusters identified above (see WPS5–8) are known to occur with measurable impact.
The case studies will fall broadly into two phases. The first phase will consist of inventorying existing knowledge on the neglected zoonoses in the case study areas; in particular their impact and burden (WP3), and the efficacy (WPS5–8), cost (WP9) and cultural aptness (WP10) of current control and prevention strategies. This will involve compiling information and data from existing sources (e.g. existing scientific literature, hospital and other medical records, animal production and health reports, and any available unpublished data) in order to complete the information needed, as far possible. At the end of this phase a gap analysis will be performed and the need for collection of missing information will be assessed.
Following this assessment, where new information is required, the second phase will consist of collecting data by undertaking field work. Here the emphasis of ICONZ will be on obtaining data that evaluates and validates control and prevention strategies. The approach will be to address clusters of neglected zoonoses, with strategies grouped into integrated intervention packages. Where possible, these activities will be undertaken as operational research linking into ongoing projects having their own complementary funding, thereby maximizing the value of the ICONZ project budget and indeed those of the ongoing projects.
The precise location of ICPC case studies will be determined during a number of initial stakeholder workshops to be held in association with groupings of work packages within each of the three vertical scientific integration themes. Preliminary stakeholder discussions have already been conducted and strongly suggested a number of potential case study areas. Examples of these would be the Timbuktu area of Mali, with emphasis on the neglected bacterial zoonosis cluster; selected areas in Morocco for the dog / small ruminant-associated zoonosis cluster; the Lakes Kyoga and Victoria Basin area of Uganda, with emphasis on the vector-borne zoonosis, pig-associated parasitic zoonosis and bacterial zoonosis clusters; and Northern Tanzania, where for all four neglected zoonosis clusters are considered to be important.