Tag Archives: Asia

ACCCRN Learning Forum 2016 – Keynote: The Importance of UCCR – Jo da Silva

Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) is a leading regional network connecting professionals and communities across Asia to build inclusive urban climate change resilience (UCCR) that focuses on poor and vulnerable people affected by climate change. We commit to empower people in building climate resilience, influence urban agendas, and build a regional resilient community in Asia where there is rapid urbanization and fast-growing cities that are prone to sudden shocks, as well as long-term stresses. We need resilience now and in the future.

Jo da Silva is a Director at Arup where she leads Arup International Development, a specialist team focussing on addressing the challenges to achieving sustainable and resilient communities. She gives keynote speech to the ACCCRN Learning Forum2016 in Semarang, Indonesia.The speech uploaded in Youtube on Jun 15, 2016 has been presented here to disseminate to the larger audience.
The video may be watched in Youtube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI2XXNOuE2A

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease:Dissmination of FAO News Article

The News Article entitled,”FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease” will be very helpful for the banana farmers and plant pathologists and extensionists of agricultural agencies for information and awareness creation.Hence is has been published in this website for further dissemination and awareness creation. .The News Article may be accessed at the following link:  http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/223409/icode/

 

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease

Following its spread to Africa and the Middle East, Fusarium wilt TR4 increases the risks to livelihoods and banana markets

Photo: ©FAO/Fazil Dusunceli

Diseased banana plants.

14 April 2014, Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning countries to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention of one of the world’s most destructive banana diseases, Fusarium wilt, which recently spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, and which has the potential to affect countries in Latin America.

The TR4 race of the disease, which is also known as Panama disease, is posing a serious threat to production and export of the popular fruit, with serious repercussions for the banana value chain and livelihoods, FAO said in an information brief.

Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world’s least-developed countries, according to FAOSTAT, the UN agency’s  data-gathering and analysis service.

“Any disease or constraint that affects bananas is striking at an important source of food, livelihoods, employment and government revenues in many tropical countries,” said Gianluca Gondolini, Secretary of the World Banana Forum. The Forum, whose Secretariat is based at FAO headquarters, promotes sustainable banana production and trade.

“The spread of Fusarium wilt banana disease could have a significant impact on growers, traders and families who depend on the banana industry,” Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, said. “Countries need to act now if we are to avoid the worst-case scenario, which is massive destruction of much of the world’s banana crop,” said Dusunceli.

Recommended action

At the country level, FAO specifically advises:

  • Awareness raising at all levels and adoption of appropriate risk assessment, surveillance and early warning systems;
  • Implementation of phytosanitary measures to prevent the spread of the disease through agricultural practices, irrigation and drainage systems, transportation, vehicles, containers, tools or visitors;
  • Preventive measures, including quarantines, the use of disease-free planting materials, prevention of movement of infected soil and planting materials into and out of farms, and disinfection of vehicles;
  • Capacity building in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) in planning, extension and research, including the use of rapid and accurate diagnostic tools;
  • Training of technical officers, producers and farm workers in disease identification, prevention and management under field conditions, and appropriate instructions to visitors.

While other races of the disease have existed for many years, TR4 has caused significant losses in banana plantations in Southeast Asia over the last two decades, and has recently been reported in Mozambique and Jordan.

TR4 infects the Cavendish banana varieties, which dominate global trade, as well as other susceptible varieties used for local consumption and markets. Despite damage to the banana plant and to production, the fruit itself remains edible.

Soil-borne disease

Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc). The disease is soil-borne and the fungus can remain viable for decades.  Once the disease is present in a field, it cannot be fully controlled by currently available practices and fungicides. The best way to fight the disease is to prevent its spread, which includes avoiding movement of diseased plant materials and infected soil particles.

“We need to raise awareness of this threat, coordinate efforts among countries and institutions for effective implementation of appropriate quarantine measures, and also work with banana producers, traders, plantation employees and smallholder farmers to help to minimize the spread of the disease,” Dusunceli said. He also highlighted the importance of research in better understanding the disease and developing alternative varieties that are disease resistant.

FAO’s information note stresses the importance of using disease-free seedlings and avoiding movement of infected soil and planting materials into, and out of, farms, through transportation, visitors or other means.

“A concerted effort is required from stakeholders including the industry, research institutions, governments and international organizations to prevent spread of the disease,” the note reads.

Raising awareness

FAO and its partners, including the World Banana Forum (WBF), the scientific community and the banana industry are among those making efforts to increase awareness of the inherent threat of TR4.

The issue will be on the agenda of a series of upcoming meetings in Kenya, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of addressing a range of issues related to TR4, including developing action plans for its prevention, monitoring and containment.

The banana crop is vulnerable to a number of diseases in various parts of the world, including the Black Sigatoka disease, Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) and Fusarium Wilt, but Fusarium’s soil-borne nature makes it especially challenging.

 

icddr,b contributes to largest global study on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries

28 May 2013 – icddr,b has contributed to a new international study that provides the clearest picture yet of the impact and most common causes of diarrhoeal diseases, which kill 800,000 children annually. The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) is the largest study ever conducted on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries, enrolling more than 20,000 children from seven sites across Asia and Africa. The findings of the study were recently published in The Lancet and provide guidelines on prevention, treatment and research on childhood diarrhoeal diseases.

The GEMS study in Bangladesh was conducted in Mirzapur, a sub-district just north of Dhaka, by icddr,b’s Centre for Nutrition & Food Security.  “Better information is critical to changing the way we fight diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. A.S.G. Faruque, Principal Investigator at the Bangladesh trial site. “GEMS shows us clearly how we can target our approach and where we need to invest our resources to make a difference.”

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GEMS was a case control study conducted at seven diverse, high-burden sites in Asia and Africa: the Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The study enrolled 22,569 children under five years of age –  a sample size that is large enough to provide comprehensive data on the causes, incidence and impact of the range of diarrhoeal diseases affecting children around the world. GEMS established a network of well-equipped laboratories in the study countries that can be used to accelerate future research on diarrhoea and other child health priorities.

Rotavirus:  a leading cause of infant diarrhoeal diseases

Coordinated by the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development, GEMS confirmed rotavirus – for which a vaccine already exists – as the leading cause of diarrhoeal diseases among infants and identified other top causes for which additional research is urgently needed. GEMS found that approximately one in five children under the age of two suffer from MSD each year, which increased children’s risk of death by eight-and-a-half times and lead to stunted growth over a two-month follow-up period.

Shigella, a type of bacteria, caused the largest number of infections in toddlers and older children. Unlike at sites in Africa, Aeromonas – another type of bacteria – was the third leading cause of MSD, confirming its regional importance as a pathogen. Linear growth delays were significant among children in all age groups in the two months following their MSD episode, and a single episode of MSD increased children’s risk of death more than twelvefold over the same period.

Despite many causes, GEMS found that targeting just four pathogens could prevent the majority of MSD cases.  Expanding access to vaccines for rotavirus could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Likewise, GEMS data suggests that accelerating research on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for the three other leading pathogens – Shigella, Cryptosporidium and ST-ETEC (a type of E. coli) – could have a similar impact.

“The GEMS findings help set priorities for investments that could greatly reduce the burden of childhood diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Brewer, deputy director of the Enteric & Diarrheal Diseases team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Longer-term monitoring and expansion of interventions can save lives

The GEMS findings also suggest that longer-term monitoring and care of children with diarrhoeal diseases could reduce mortality and developmental delays. Children with MSD grew significantly less in height in the two months following the diarrhoeal episode when compared with control children without diarrhoea, and were eight-and-a-half times more likely to die over the course of the two-month follow-up period. Notably, 61 percent of deaths occurred more than a week after the initial diarrhoeal episode, with 56 percent of deaths happening after families had returned home from a healthcare facility.

Expanding access to existing interventions that protect against or treat all diarrhoeal diseases –  including oral rehydration solutions, zinc supplements and clean water and sanitation- can save lives and improve the health of children immediately.

The GEMS findings add to the scientific evidence cited in the first-ever Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) recently announced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The GAPPD strategy calls for effectively controlling pneumonia and diarrhoea, which together are the two leading causes of death among young children globally.

For more details please contact Senior Manager Communications Nasmeen Ahmed

 

(The article has been published for further dissemination of ICDDR,B achievements taken from the link: http://www.icddrb.org/media-centre/news/4125-icddrb-contributes-to-largest-global-study-on-diarrhoeal-diseases-in-developing-countries of the website of this international organization located in Bangladesh)

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