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Cummings School receives Rockefeller Foundation grant
Date:1/30/2008

NORTH GRAFTON, MASS., January 30, 2008 - The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University a grant to assess veterinary health services in Indonesia and consider how advanced training of Indonesian veterinarians can enhance Indonesias capacity to prevent and control infectious diseases shared by animals and people. The $200,000 grant was made through the Foundations Pandemics Initiative, which aims to promote resilience of poor and vulnerable people to emerging pandemic threats to health and livelihoods by supporting integration of fragmented systems of surveillance and response.

Animals are the likely source of 75% of the worlds emerging infections. In the event of a zoonotic disease outbreak, the worlds poorest people, who largely depend on animals for their livelihoods, are hit the hardest with threats of disease, malnutrition and economic destitution. At the same time, we see a divide between the fields of veterinary health and human health leading to poor communication and inefficient use of resources to detect and respond to outbreaks, said Tara Acharya, PhD, MPH, Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation We are pleased to support the efforts of Tufts University to improve community-level surveillance, responses and management of animal diseases that threaten the health of animal and human populations and the livelihoods of Indonesian families

The award will build upon a nationwide community-based training program for prevention and control of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Indonesia led by the Cummings School. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Cummings School will test the effectiveness of Indonesias veterinary training and education system using HPAI and apply its findings to other diseases that may be transmitted from animals to people.

The Cummings Schools program in Indonesia, known as the Participatory Disease Surveillance a
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Contact: Tom Keppeler
tom.keppeler@tufts.edu
508-839-7910
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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