One Health in Action


One Health researchers received a Western Strategic Support Grant to explore and understand the experiences of Community Health Volunteers as agents of behaviour change in the context of human and zoonotic tuberculosis at the intersection of human, animal and environmental health among the Maasai of Kajiado County, Kenya.

Dr. Olea Popelka and his research team, including Dr. Ellena Andoniou (One Health) and collaborators Dr. Elysée Nouvet (Health Sciences) and Talaku, a community-based organization in Kenya, envisioned this creative and novel One Health project to integrate social science concepts such as equity, social justice, and sustainability when addressing the challenges posed by tuberculosis to people and animals in Kenya. With the support of the grant, the team aims to address the critical need to better understand Community Health Volunteers’ realities and experiences as agents of behaviour change in the context of tuberculosis (TB) and zoonotic tuberculosis (ZTB), which to date, remain largely neglected.

Applying these integrated lines of inquiry will demonstrate the value of using interdisciplinary approaches, such as One Health to explore and document the interplay of social, cultural, environmental, animal, and contextual factors which influence risk for TB and ZTB at the individual, household and community level.  It is anticipated that the findings will help to close the information gap which currently exist around the role and capacity of CHVs to deliver behaviour change strategies, and potentially highlight areas of CHV practice in need of capacity building, through specific training, and challenges to be addressed through policy changes.

Ultimately, the team hopes to be able to build capacity among CHVs, enhance the well-being and health of marginalized rural communities and curb the persistent high impact of TB/ZTB.