Experts Emphasize “One Health” Approach to Minimize Animal to Human-Human to Animal Infections

Addis Ababa March 15/2023 (ENA) System-based interpretations of "One Health" approach is vital to minimize animal to human-human to animal infections in Ethiopia, according to experts in the sector.

Speaking at a two-day stakeholder’s workshop that opened here in the capital city today, Dr. Mirgissa Kaba of the School of Public Health said the government of Ethiopia, with support from international partners, had established a National One Health Steering Committee (NOHSC) back in 2017.

Although the steering committee comprises of representatives of core government ministries, more needs to be done to address the ever increasing challenges of diseases crossing to human world from domestic and wild animals, he noted.

COVID-19 and zoonotic diseases like rabies, which are viral diseases affecting the central nervous system, are among the examples that transmit from the animal to human world.

Due to the increasing interactions between humans and animals within the environment and numerous factors exacerbating the emergence, re-emergence and spread of infectious diseases, the professor said that the problem necessitates a multi-sectoral approach.

Addressing such problems requires genuine collaboration and partnership, Dr.Mirgissa stressed.

Principal Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute of Arusha, Tanzania, Theo Knight-Jones, said the world is facing unprecedented, inter-connected threats to the health of people, animals and the environment as animal to human-human and human to animal infections are spreading due to climate change.

Addressing the threats requires cross-sectoral, system-wide health approaches, he said, adding that addressing such problems require genuine collaboration, partnership and a systematic approach.

According to him, enhancing national and sub-regional cross-sectoral collaboration between government entities with "One Health" mandates and "One Health" stakeholders across society will bring better results to minimize disease transmission.

Hence, he pointed out that there is a need to equip educational and research institutes to train the next generation "One Health" workforce.

Increasing the capacity of government and non-governmental stakeholders to identify and deliver "One Health" solutions to key problems is also vital.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency