Happy Easter and a beautiful 2nd quarter of 2021, despite the third wave of COVID-19 raging on amid vaccination challenges. The editorial team apologizes that our 2nd newsletter is coming out late. 


Research into actions and solutions

Late last year, in December 2020, NCEHR led a team to meet with the Anambra State Ministry of Environment (SMoE). It was an introductory and familiarization visit. In addition, an SMoE -NCEHR inquiry to action program was proposed and instituted from three identified challenges by the state stakeholder. The identified challenge, in line with an eco-social lens, include (1) flooding in Anambra State: causes and consequences; (2) impacts of flooding in Anambra State communities, in particular hunger (food security), and poverty.; and (3) inappropriate use of energy sources, particularly indoor burning of firewood, and its relationship to deforestation. The research teams formed these three challenges (as themes) and will pair up, collaborating with the Nigerian working group (NWG) in Canada. For the theme of flooding, it will be led by Angela Akanwa of NCEHR and Olusola Olufemi of NWG; impacts of flooding will be led bd by Helen Agu and Ogochukwu Unigwe of NCEHR and NWG respectively, while the deforestation team will be led by Luke Eme. Vic Neufeld will oversee the latter theme on deforestation, Ngozi Joe-Ikechebelu will oversee the ist two themes of flooding and its impacts, while we encourage our NCEHR members to identify with the challenging theme they are passionate about. We have some communities, affected by the annual flooding in Anambra state, who have invited us to work with them. They include Anambra East and West, Ayamelum, and Ogbaru communities with their representatives as community researchers. The proposed SMoE-NCEHR themes will enable us to build further collaborations to help explore, understand, overcome challenging complex ecosocial inequities associated with environmental and climate crises in Anambra state. 


Other Activities

Following the proposal agreed by the two groups, the NCEHR 2021 planning team, on February 25th, 2021, via a zoom platform with Ngozi Joe-Ikechebelu and Vic Neufeld proposed and added other potential activities that could be pursued. The activities include (1) inquiry into disability research; and (2) the participating of NCEHR in the monthly “environmental sanitation” events of the state; and (3) the world environment day. The world environment day celebrated on 5 June, is ‘ecosystem restoration with a focus on resetting our relationship with nature. There is a need for NCEHR to plan accordingly for this day in Anambra state and beyond.


An IDRC Call for Concept Note 

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is an agency backed by Canadian taxpayers’ money to advance knowledge and innovations, as well as invest in actions that can improve the lives of people in the developing regions of the world. It will be advisable we get familiar with IDRC and subscribe to them for funding opportunities, e.g., research fellowship awards. One of the current opportunities with IDRC was their call for a Collaborative One Health Initiative on Epidemic (COHRIE). Please see onehealthcall@idrc.ca and I also sent this call to the NCEHR group chat forum. This call invited concept notes from research consortia “to understand and demonstrate how One Health research on epidemic threats can help protect the health and livelihoods of vulnerable populations”.


We should mention that Vic and I have been involved in a proposed “research consortium’ that has (just last week) submitted a concept note. The consortium is between the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the “lead organization”, the Nigeria Consortium for EcoSocial Health Research (NCEHR), and the CCGHR as a “Third Party Organization”. We titled our submitted concept call: “Learning from the pandemic – the Nigeria experience”. Some of the NWG colleagues (Sola and Yewande) contributed to the preparation of the concept note, while some of the NCEHR members contributed at the meeting (Uche Umeh, George Eleje, Williams Ngene, Onyinye Okolo, while Hephzibah Agwaniru and Charity Chinedu-Okeke were challenged by internet access) between the consortium on March 28 and 29, 2021. We submitted the COHRIE concept proposal on April 2nd. Our submission is the first stage of a 2-stage process. If we are successful, we will be invited by IDRC to develop a full proposal. If any of you are interested in learning more about this, please contact Ngozi, who is currently in Nigeria. We keep hoping and believing for the second and final stages.


A Knowledge Dissemination and Exchange Opportunity (KDE):

Knowledge Dissemination and Exchange (KDE), also known as knowledge transfer, knowledge to action, knowledge exchange, knowledge translation and exchange (KTE), knowledge mobilization, and knowledge to action. KDE is a justifiable opportunity for communities to transfer the knowledge of their inquiry about wicked issues (health-related social events) to support the integrity and accountability of their findings and further improve multilevel outcomes of health, community, and research group processes. The transfer of knowledge must be through effective means of communication to achieve a wide reach for knowledge acquisition, awareness, and for the necessary utilization of study findings at all levels of society. 


The institute for global solutions with the Claremont Secondary School, Victoria, Canada has invited the NCEHR team, using our trans-disciplinary perspective, for knowledge exchange on the documentary, “Nowhere to run”, which is a synopsis on Nigeria’s climate and environmental crisis. Williams, Helen, Angela, and Ngozi, via a zoom approach on Friday 9, 2021, will interact with the grade 12 group for their social justice class. Please let Oninye Okolo know, at okolo_onyinye@yahoo.com, if you are interested to be part of future dissemination and exchange opportunities. This interactive forum will be recorded and disseminated on our website too.


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Please send your questions and comments, and also ideas for contributions to this newsletter, to George and Ngozi at team@ncehr.org 


Editors:  Ngozi Joe-Ikechebelu and George Eleje