What you need to know:
- One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral and trans-disciplinary approach working at the local, regional, national, and global levels with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.
Health experts have blamed the unpopularity of one health approach on the emergency health taskforce whom they accuse of ‘slumbering’ when there is no disease outbreak.
One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral and trans-disciplinary approach working at the local, regional, national, and global levels with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.
In his presentation at a national stakeholder meeting geared towards capacitating one health in East and Southern Africa in Kampala, Mr Clovice Kankya, an associate professor at the department of biosecurity, ecosystems and veterinary public health at Makerere University said “When there are outbreaks, that is when the emergency team is active. Once there is no outbreak, the team goes to sleep.”
This, according to him has amplified the one health approach challenges. He also blamed the ministry of education and sports for not creating a curriculum for the one health approach learners.
According to him issues of one health, disease outbreak investigations and community encounter, among others normally arise when the problem or the worst comes to the extreme.
“Therefore, people always have been waiting for the extreme conditions when there is a disease outbreak, for example COVID. Remember what was happening during the Ebola outbreak, that’s when people wake up to address problems around,” Prof Kankya said.
He also highlighted limited financing as a challenge in the implementation of the one health approach.
To build human capital, he said they will also look into developing cadres in line with one health degree at Makerere university and that they have also in their previous discussions talked about PHD programmes in global health and global biosecurity.
Dr Theo Knight-Jones, a principal scientist at International Livestock Research Institute in Arusha, Tanzania, said for one health approach to thrive, there must be policies that allow countries to work together because diseases spread so easily from country to country.