Liberia making progress towards One Health goals – FrontPageAfrica
Liberia has made tremendous strides towards its One Health agenda, efforts that prompted international partners who gathered at this year’s World One Health Day celebration to shower the country with praise.
Partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), GIZ and AFENET-Liberia, commended the country for adapting and advancing the global concept, which seeks to work concerted way to address shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface.
One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral and transdisciplinary approach – working at local, regional, national and global levels – with the aim of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnectedness between people, animals, plants and their shared environment. .
The government has since started work on preparing a One Health governance manual that would ensure the concept, endorsed globally in 2016 in the wake of the Ebola virus disease outbreak, is domesticated as a national policy. The manual is currently being revised to ensure that it will be adopted quickly. The program grew out of lessons learned from the Ebola crisis that devastated Liberia and its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea.
A Joint Risk Assessment and One Health Policy Mapping and Analysis Study for Liberia funded under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) project is also underway.
“All of these initiatives are aimed at ensuring that Liberia achieves its One Health goal,” FAO team leader Dr Ibrahim Ahmed said at the weekend celebration. assessment and mapping study and policy analysis OH. Dr Ahmed spoke on behalf of his patron, the FAO Country Representative, Mariatou N’jei.
“We want to pursue a richer world, so it is necessary to prioritize the welfare of not only humanity, but also animals, as well as the environment,” he noted.
Within the framework of a single sanitary context of detection, control and prevention of zoonotic diseases, FAO recently finalized the construction and equipment of the Animal Quarantine Center including a laboratory in Ganta which was finally handed over to the government.
The weekend event was also a combined celebration of World Rabies Day (WRD), One Health Day (OHD) and World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).
OHD provides an opportunity for experts and the community to unite in One Health education and awareness. Communication, coordination and collaboration between partners working in animal, human and environmental health as well as other relevant areas is an essential part of the One Health approach, One Health Platform, the national group that leads the initiative, said during the celebration. “Working together allows us to have the greatest impact on improving the health of people, animals and our common environment,” noted a group official.
This global health concept strives to achieve optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interaction between people, animals, plants and their shared environment, and according to GIZ Health Director Daniel Lohmann, it is needed not only to support the idea, but also to educate the public and other stakeholders about One Health and share experiences, resources and challenges.
“GIZ works in three counties in the South East and this is the idea we are promoting there,” he said.
“We don’t take good care of the environment and that’s why we sometimes suffer backlashes with the outbreak of diseases and the impacts of climate change. Everything is interconnected and so we have to take care of everything and protect it”, Lohmann noted, “Many people may not realize the impact they can have in improving human, animal and environmental health, but everyone has a role to play.”
More pets are vaccinated
September 28, 2021 marked the 15th World Rabies Day (WRD) held under the theme “Rabies: Facts, Not Fear”. The celebration focused on sharing facts about rage and dispelling myths or misconceptions.
Activities focused not only on vaccinating dogs against rabies but also on advocacy, action and awareness.
Over 50 dogs were vaccinated to kick off rabies vaccinations for dogs throughout the year.
FAO led this exercise. “I am happy to note that these vaccinations have continued and will continue today and even long after this celebration with the aim of achieving the goal of zero rabies by 2030,” Dr Ahmed said during the weekend.
Regarding the celebration of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, he noted that the celebration was a reminder of the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) around the world as a major threat to human and animal health.
“This endangers modern human and veterinary medicine and compromises the safety of our food and our environment,” Dr Ahmed added.
Experts say the misuse of these drugs, coupled with the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms, puts everyone at great risk. The risk appears particularly high in countries where legislation, regulatory oversight and monitoring systems for antimicrobial use, as well as prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance, are weak or inadequate.
FAO has played a key role in supporting governments, producers, traders and other stakeholders to move towards responsible use of antimicrobials in agriculture, thereby helping to reduce antimicrobial resistance in agricultural systems, a- he noted.
“FAO’s Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance addresses four main areas of intervention, including raising awareness of antimicrobial resistance and related threats; developing capacity to monitor and control antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use (antimicrobial use) in food and agriculture; Strengthening governance related to AMU and AMR in food and agriculture and promoting good practices in food and agricultural systems and prudent use of antimicrobials.