|Agricultural Development and Vector-Borne Diseases (FAO - HABITAT - UNEP - WHO, 1996, 91 p.)|
The target audience of the present slide set is made up of those with technical, managerial or administrative responsibilities for planning, designing and implementing agricultural and natural resources development; for introducing changes in agricultural practices; and, for the settlement or resettlement of rural populations. It is also intended for teachers and students engaged in training for such responsibilities.
Secondly, it targets those working or preparing to work in public health to provide them with a clearer picture of the complexities of agriculture/health links
The general objective of this slide set is to provide (future) professionals in the agricultural and natural resources sectors with relevant information so they become more willing to accept a joint responsibility with the health sector for solving health problems that are caused by land and water resources development for agricultural production.
More specifically, the set aims: a) to provide decision makers in the agriculture sector, at all levels, with a general understanding of the impact of agricultural development projects on vector-borne disease, b) to promote an awareness of the role of the agricultural sector in vector-borne disease prevention, and c) to give the target audience access to information, institutions and organizations that may assist in the incorporation of health safeguards into agricultural development and practices.
Agricultural development as used in this text refers not only to the development and management of crop production and cultivation, but also to irrigation, forestry and fisheries, land use and improvement and rural human settlements. The term vector-borne diseases is referred to in this slide set in its broad WHO definition, i.e. those diseases whose transmission vitally depends on primary and intermediate vertebrate and invertebrate hosts and animal reservoirs of pathogenic organisms. A summary description of each of the diseases is given in section 4.
Non-health professionals may easily be confused by clinical aspects and the epidemiological characteristics of the multitude of diseases that are covered in this slide set. Diseases have been grouped together as much as possible to avoid burdening the target audience with unnecessary details. Simplification has been unavoidable and it is recommended that in any case where professionals from the agricultural sector decide to work on human aspects of agricultural development, this is always done in close collaboration with health authorities and with the expert inputs of an epidemiologist.
Although the authors have tried to cover all major geographical areas of the world, there are admittedly gaps in the slide set due to the lack of available high quality slides. No attempt was made to illustrate all the topics that could possibly fit under the title of the set. Neither was it attempted to treat each discussed topic exhaustively, to discuss all vector-borne diseases or to prioritize vector-borne disease problems in relation to agricultural development.
The focus of this set is on health problems. Agricultural development, however, also provides many health benefits. The text accompanying the slides refers to these possible health benefits when appropriate.
Topic A (Vector-borne diseases of relevance to agriculture) provides a small reference slide collection showing the magnitude, distribution and symptoms of vector-borne diseases.
The development of environmental management measures should be systematically linked to specific vectors in particular agricultural environments and agroecosystems, in order to enhance the chance that they work effectively in a wide range of circumstances. This strategy is reflected in topics B (Relevant disease vectors) C (Vector habitats), a with exclusive reference to schistosomiasis
The remaining topics deal with the different components of agricultural development and their association with vector-borne diseases.
Topic E: Land use, vegetation and crops
Topic F: Water use in agriculture
Topic G: Cultivation practices
Topic H: Influence of livestock
Topic J: Plant protection, pest control and chemical inputs
Topic K: Rural settlements
In the WHO Vector Biology and Control Slide Set Series, there are volumes for each disease which cover the epidemiological, clinical, curative and public health sector issues. A slide set on environmental management for vector control focuses on physical interventions, particularly, environmental modification and manipulation in irrigation and drainage systems. All slide sets can be ordered from WHO Distribution and Sales, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.