One Health student Emi Moore tackles small ruminant plague in Uganda
Student Spotlight: Emi Moore
“If their animals die, these people can’t eat. They can’t afford to take their kids to school. They can’t afford medicine. We want to help protect their livelihoods.” – Emi Moore
On January 26th, Emi Moore, traveled from Gainesville, Florida to the East African country of Uganda. There, she spent two weeks conducting interviews with communities in the Kotido and Amudat Districts, in an effort to support an ongoing project under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Moore, a One Health PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Global Health with a background in Anthropology, was offered the opportunity to join the project by her faculty advisor Dr. Sarah McKune. Dr. McKune, an EGH professor, serves as the Social Science and Gender Expert on a larger research team for the project.
The project, overall, focuses on eradicating peste des petits ruminants (PPR), or small ruminant plague, which is a highly infectious viral disease of sheep and goats. This disease threatens rural communities in over 70 countries, including Ugandans who depend on their flocks of animals for their livelihood.
“Our livestock is our bank, a direct quote from one of the men I met,” Moore recounted. “If their animals die, these people can’t eat. They can’t afford to take their kids to school. They can’t afford medicine. We want to help protect their livelihoods.”
Through the Semi-Structured Interviews, conducted in small, separate groups of either men or women, Moore collected formative qualitative data such as more information about the communities’ way of life, society, types of available nutrition, etc.
By gaining insight to social dynamics and forming bonds with community members during this trip, Moore and the other team members are closer to finding the right vaccination uptake pathway. The team hopes to develop a vaccination model that will be able to break viral transmission after two years of vaccination, and can be adapted for other vaccinations.
“It was a great experience. It was unlike anywhere else,” said Moore of her trip, “This is definitely my type of field work. It’s practical application to help better these communities’ situations”