Sustainably Managing Environmental Health Risks| Ecuador



Funded by:

Canadian International Development Organization

Partner organizations:

The Tier 1 project emerged from a highly successful University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Tier 2 project that has been conducted by UBC and the National Institute for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology (INHEM in Cuba) along with their respective partners.

New links have been built with other universities, non-governmental organizations and government agencies. The Department of Indigenous Health in Bolivar, and the Centro de Estudios y Asesoramiento de Salud (CEAS) have been added as explicit partners.

Project description:

The scope of our project expands the breadth and depth of the subjects previously covered in Cuba, which currently includes topics such as basic environmental health risk assessment and management, water and sanitation, food and agriculture, air pollution, urbanization, energy, industrialization and chemical contamination, the role of women in sustainable development, and global health ethical issues.

In addition to revising and incorporating this basic curriculum, new curriculum is being added to address new priorities that have been identified in Ecuador:

  • Community development (with a special focus on indigenous health issues and community-based learning)
  • Disaster preparedness and management
  • Ecosystem approach to vector-borne and other infectious diseases
  • Health impact of global changes

The use of appropriate health communication technologies is crucial to the development of this project as well as the collaboration and participation from university-based colleagues and community groups.

Established tighter links among communities, community practitioners and university personnel in Ecuador, as well as links to an emerging network across the Latin America and Caribbean region.
The principle impact of the project is to enhance the ability of Ecuador to address its environmental health needs, resulting in fewer preventable deaths and less environmental health-related illness in Ecuador. Ultimately this will contribute to improvements throughout the region, at first in targeted communities and then extended more widely. The capacity building will lead to greater self-reliance as well as eventual mutual exchange among Latin American countries. It will also serve as an exemplary model of how North-South partnerships can stimulate and reinforce South-South cooperation, in addition to how universities can achieve community impact.


Videos on some of the projects undertaken in conjunction with this program can be found on YouTube.

The final report for this project is now available for viewing.