What Happens When Cows Come To Nairobi

More Africans are moving to large cities, and some are bringing their livestock with them, along with an increased risk of disease. Rather than banning the animals entirely, Kenyan officials came up with a different solution.

What's the Latest Development?

As more Africans move to urban cities, some, such as those residing in the Nairobi district of Dagoretti, are bringing their cows and chickens along with them. The animals are kept in the backyards, and their manure is also used to fertilize vegetable gardens, which Nairobi public health workers say helped contribute to a spike in a particular type of infectious disease. Rather than recommend a ban on keeping animals in the city, the workers created a publicity campaign to encourage more careful attention to how well they're kept. As researcher Delia Grace puts it, "[W]e know that [conventional warnings are] not very effective. [This is] a new approach that's trying to change peoples' behavior based on social norms."

What's the Big Idea?

Livestock serve as a reliable source of meat and milk in urban areas where there are few grocery stores or freezers: "[For children] the nutritional benefits of ready access to milk outweighs some of the cow-related drawbacks." A cow can also be used as collateral for a bank loan. Upon further research, Grace and her colleagues decided that asking rural people to give up such an integral part of their culture wasn't an option. The publicity campaign they developed involves brochures and cartoons that gently pressure residents into adopting safer and more hygienic standards. 

meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less