Design for Insecticidal Florae in Ubrica One Health Communities
Africa’s ecological habitat is rife with insecticidal florae that produce potent bio-chemical compounds that could help control, and perhaps ultimately eradicate insect born microbial diseases in the continent and elsewhere. The landscape master planning team at the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University has been reflecting deeply on integration of medicinal plants on the design of the Ubrica One masterplan. Ubrica One is a proposed bio-medical city to be located on a 4330-acre site in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya.
Insect vector born microbial diseases plague much of Africa. Malaria, the biggest one of them, continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year, particularly of the most defenseless children-under- 5 and pregnant women. Because of its ferocity, malaria has gained prominence as the disease of biggest global health concern. Yet, we could easily prevent death due to malaria by thoughtful use of active bio-chemical compounds readily extracted from plants growing in
The problem of malaria, notwithstanding, we have a repertoire of other vector borne diseases prevalent to the tropics, that are controllable, and even eradicable by plant based bio-chemical extracts. Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum spp) is a plant of great import to because of its naturally biodegradable pyrethrins that have a rapid knock-down effect on mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Ubrica One masterplanning team has developed a master list of similar plants that could have indirect effect on the disease (e.g., eradicating the vector that transmits the disease), or direct effect on the disease (e.g., direct action on the microbial/parasite once transmitted to humans and animals).Africa.
Ubrica One design team recognizes the intricate, yet complex, relationships prevailing in health production, and disease causation that involve humans, animals, ecology, and the economy. Thus, the master-plan for production of health as a comprehensive entity respects humans and animals, with the ecology of their existence. In addition, the master-plan acknowledges the centrality of economic development as by far the greatest cause of improvement in health. The four elements of health production that include humans, animals, ecology and the economy combine to create a fundamental design of a comprehensive SUSTAINABLE ONE HEALTH COMMUNITY.
A community designed in this manner is sustainable because it respects the three distinct pillars of sustainability that integrate humans, ecology, and economy. The community is comprehensively healthy because it respects the roles of animals, humans, and economy in health production, or disease causation; an idea that is well known as ONE HEALTH at Texas A&M University.
Insects play a significant role in a sustainable health community, whether in health production, or in prevention of disease causation. In order to have impact on global heath at Ubrica One needs deep understanding of insects in their role in human, animal, ecologic and economic health.