WHO One Health approach in West Africa

Countries across West Africa have endorsed an agreement to face zoonotic diseases under the One Health approach of the World Health Organization. This approach calls for policymakers and health practitioners to consider the close link between human, animal and environmental health when designing public health systems, research and programmes.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa stated: “Strong systems and coordinated efforts are needed to detect, report and control the spread of diseases that affect animals and humans”.

Last Friday, several ministries from sixteen West Africa countries endorsed a communiqué binding their countries to the One Health approach. It commits governments to set up “robust national mechanisms for intersectoral coordination and partnership to facilitate the implementation of the existing global and regional initiatives, better harmonization and sharing of information among animal, human and environmental health sectors”, thereby enhancing collaboration as well as national and subregional alert mechanisms for outbreak-prone diseases in both human, animal and environmental health sectors.

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