Ms Dorien Braam (2018)
Having worked in a variety of roles across Asia and eastern Africa with the UN, INGO's and government focusing on disaster displacement, human rights and shelter, I returned to academia via a MSc in International Animal Health at the University of Edinburgh. My thesis research on ‘Animal health programming in humanitarian and development assistance in Somalia’ showed the gaps and need for high quality research and critical assessment to improve the evidence base for policy and program development. For my PhD in Veterinary Medicine I will study the prevalence of zoonoses - diseases transmitted between animals and humans - in displaced populations, addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of the next decade: climate change, displacement and emerging infectious diseases. Disease transmission between wildlife and livestock, the increased risk of zoonoses in areas where people and animals with weakened immune systems live closely together, and the emergence of infectious diseases among naive host communities are areas that need to be increasingly researched. Gaining a better understanding of disease prevalence and dynamics, control and prevention will improve the well-being of both humans and animals, with the aim to influence and improve institutional responses. I am incredibly honored that I can pursue this important field of study at the University of Cambridge with the support of the Gates Scholarship, and look forward to becoming a part of the community.