Environmental health is a priority for Ethiopia partnership
By Michael Bisesi, PhD
Ohio State College of Public Health
Since my arrival on July 7, we have accomplished several activities. As an environmental health scientist, I was able to teach applicable modules to a wonderful group of grad students, clinicians (veterinarians, physicians, nurses) and scientists.
The modules included lectures and discussions regarding the properties of various environmental matrices (air, water, soil) and the fate of microbial and chemical contaminants that can adversely affect plants, animals, and humans.
An extension from the classroom included a field trip and qualitative assessment of the waste water treatment facility for the city of Addis Ababa. This was very enlightening since it demonstrated a system that has insufficient capacity for the volume of polluted waste water originating from municipal, industrial, hospital and runoff sources. The surrounding adjacent areas had fields growing crops, animals drinking and feeding, and humans using this area as a resource.
I also visited the slaughterhouse and tannery which have some pollution control technologies and practices in place. Observation of the river and surrounding land confirms suspicions that multiple sources are contributing to environmental pollution that impacts animal and human health. Our integrated approach to address this will bring results, but much work lies ahead. Our Ethiopian partners are wise to have included this work as a priority for our partnership.
Photos by Rick Harrison, Ohio State University Communications