Global Health Initiatives of the Allen School
The Washington State University Paul G. Allen School for Global Health research is based on the fundamental understanding that human and animal health is inextricably linked. In some instances the connection is obvious, as is the case for zoonotic diseases where disease-causing agents are transmitted directly from animals to humans. This linkage between animal and human health exists throughout the world, yet the impact is most significant in low resource populations. The Allen School is committed to addressing these challenges.
One of the unique aspects of the Allen School is its ability to extend its research work and apply its findings across the world. In Kenya, team members work with local communities and assist them with a variety of animal and human health related challenges. Our team is most known for its work in rabies elimination, antimicrobial resistance, and global disease surveillance.
Based in Nairobi, Global Health Kenya serves as a critical hub for research programs which allow faculty and students to discover direct connections between the health of domesticated animals, such as dogs in East Africa, and human populations. Interdisciplinary work also reveals indirect connections between vaccinated family cattle, reliability and profitability of family farms, and the creation of time and resources for children to pursue their educational growth.
Based in Guatemala City, Washington State University Paul G. Allen School for Global Health and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) began partnering in 2013 to identify and describe animal illnesses and the possibility of animal-human disease transmission in communities located on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala.
In 2016, these partnering institutions initiated research to understand how antibiotic use and hygiene affect the prevalence and diversity of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli in communities found in the western highlands and lowlands of Guatemala.
In 2018, the Allen School and UVG initiated a five-year collaborative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to develop an antimicrobial-resistance surveillance platform that will identify the community prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. The project includes community and hospital work and will identify risk factors for people being colonized with antimicrobial-resistant strains. A separately funded study (Wellcome Trust) will relate the prevalence of these bacteria to childhood vaccination rates. Findings from this work will be shared with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health to develop public health strategies to mitigate antimicrobial resistance.