Gov’t Entities, Educational Institution Highlight Integration of One Health into Education

Addis Ababa: Government entities and educational institutions highlighted the importance of integrating One Health (OH) into secondary education.

One Health (OH) is a collaborative, multispectral, and trans disciplinary approach that recognizes the interdependence of human, animals, plants, and other shared environment with the goal of enhancing health outcomes at local and global levels.

A workshop was held in Addis Ababa today to validate a guideline designed for the integration of OH into education and research.

It was indicated on the occasion that the world faces a persistent threat from pandemics, food safety issues antimicrobial resistance, all of which strain ecosystem health.

One Health approaches and principles have been long advocated as a critical strategy for preventing the challenges at the intersection of human, animal and environment manifesting across the globe.

Speaking at the occasion, Deputy Director General of Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Getachew Tollera said the instit
ute plays a pivotal role in coordination and implementation of One Health program across the country.

EPHI efforts in this area have been instrumental in enhancing the country’s capacity to detect and control outbreak, prevents the spread of infectious diseases and combat antimicrobial resistance, he added.

“Ethiopia encounters a multitude of health challenges that require comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach by incorporating the principle of One Health into education system research endeavor, we have paved the way for more sustainable and the resilient healthcare systems that benefit both human and animal.”

In Ethiopia, where agriculture and livestock play a vital role in the economy and livelihoods of many communities, the concept of OH holds significant relevance, the deputy director said.

By integrating one health into our education system, we can ensure that future health care professionals are equipped with knowledge and skills to address this complex health challenges that arise the human a
nimal interface, Getachew added.

WHO Country Preparedness Officer, Fikadu Adugna said One Health approach which means to optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems sustainably and in a balanced way is among the key concepts that was included in teaching curriculum.

The risk of spreading of zoonotic disease has been increasing by interaction between human, animal and ecosystem due to the exponential growth in human and livestock population and other factors.

“WHO believe that Ethiopia is on the right track to implement the One Health initiative, notably by establishing a coordination mechanism and rolling out important key activities,” he said, pledging WHO’s full support for the implementation of the initiative.

The officer expressed his belief that integrating one health into education and research will significantly enhance the country’s endeavor by producing advocates and professionals for the implementation of one Health.

Chief Executive Director at the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ab
aba University Andualem Deneke said antimicrobial is going to be a disaster for our planet because the mechanism of producing it is being exhausted.

There is no enough funding especially for the developing countries like Ethiopia and most of African countries to work on One Health approach, emphasizing the need to work together to implement the initiative in coordinated manner.

The guideline was developed with the support of Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA) project to integrate the approaches and its principles into secondary education.

The project aims to ensure an inclusive research and innovation ecosystem by building capacity in 12 eastern and southern Africa countries, to provide solutions to global health threats affecting people, animals and the environment using a One Health approach.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency