Tanzania provides an optimal opportunity for wildlife zoonotic disease surveillance at what is one of Africa’s most active wildlife-livestock-human interface areas. In the more arid areas of the Rift Valley, water diversion and land conversion for agriculture coupled with continued population growth are restricting once vast livestock grazing areas for traditional livestock keepers. The result is concentration of livestock populations on remaining grazing land, often bordering villages and wildlife protected areas. This increasing density of livestock coupled with water scarcity may change the dynamics of current zoonotic threats, and may facilitate transmission of diseases of pandemic potential across the interface. Additionally, Tanzania possesses many islands of rainforest habitat, most notably the Eastern Arc mountains, which are biodiversity hotspots due to the high degree of endemism and small mammal diversity, providing an exceptional opportunity to assess zoonotic pathogen potential in small rodent, bat, and primate species. Despite the wealth of biodiversity and intimate interaction of populations in these interfaces, Tanzania’s current capacity to conduct wildlife disease surveillance at a regional and national level is still developing. Through UC Davis' implementing partner, Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, existing collaborations with government veterinary and livestock ministries, wildlife authorities, and human health professionals enable PREDICT to increase and expand wildlife surveillance activities from the Southern Highlands region to other high-risk wildlife-livestock-human interfaces.
Country Coordinator: Dr. Harrison Sadiki
Dr. Harrison Sadiki graduated from Sokoine University of Agriculture, with a BVM in 2003, and a MVM, with a thesis on bovine tuberculosis in abattoirs and pastoralists in 2009. After completing the BVM he was a small animal clinician in Dar es Salaam, and a resident clinician at Sokoine University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, dealing with all species of livestock. He completed the Envirovet Summer Institute training in 2008 and 2009, and served as the Envirovet logistics coordinator in the developing country session (Tanzania). Since 2007 Dr. Sadiki has worked with the HALI (Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement) project, as field coordinator and veterinarian. Currently, he is the PREDICT Country Coordinator for Tanzania, overseeing all PREDICT in-country operations, working on permits and licenses from responsible ministries and institutions, establishing partnerships with other projects working in-country, hiring staff, leading training, and coordinating all surveillance activities. In addition, Dr. Sadiki works with local communities near Iringa, Tanzania, to create awareness and build capacity in health and hygiene, and by improving livelihoods through good animal husbandry, protecting the environment, and reducing human-wildlife conflicts. He also works intensively in the surveillance of bovine tuberculosis at the human-livestock-wildlife interface of the region.