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WHO calls for scale-up in implementing One Health approach

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said adopting a One Health approach that recognises the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals.

The Director-General, WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said this at the second quadripartite executive annual meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday.

Ghebreyesus says, “our shared environment offers promising solutions for addressing unprecedented challenges.”

According to him, we need sustained political will to ensure One Health principles are embedded in national and international policies.

“Implementation in countries; resource mobilisation; science and evidence; and political will.

“These are the four priorities that we must pursue together in the year ahead,” Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO boss said that leaders of the four organisations of the quadripartite collaboration on One Health, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) have worked together to advance the One Health approach worldwide.

He said that in the meeting, the organisations reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance the plan’s policy impact and mobilise sustainable resources to support One Health implementation at all levels.

“The One Health Joint Plan of Action launched in 2022 is designed to integrate systems and capacity so that we can collectively better prevent, predict, detect, and respond to health threats.

“Ultimately, this initiative seeks to improve the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment, while contributing to sustainable development,” he said.

Ghebreyesus said that the newly launched One Health Joint Plan of Action Implementation Guide was a cornerstone of the global efforts, providing practical guidance for translating One Health theory into action.

According to him, the One Health High Level Expert Panel collated existing resources and tools developed the One Health inventory list for the Guide.

Dr Amina Benyahia, Head, WHO One Health Initiative, said that ultimate goal and value of our One Health collaboration lie in effecting positive changes at the country level.

“By empowering countries, strengthening health systems, and fostering cross-sectoral collaboration, we have the opportunity.

“The opportunity to drive transformative change from the ground up to achieve improved health and well-being globally,” Benyahia said.

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