Dar far ahead of others in one-health approach

Tanzania has been hailed for significant progress made in adoption of a one health approach that mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities to deal with health complex challenges.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s One Health Coordinator, Serge Nzietchueng told the Daily News in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that by setting up a directorate to coordinate one health in the Prime Ministers’ Office, Tanzania had moved ahead of other countries in Africa in implementing the one health approach that seeks to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems.

“That is a clear demonstration of political engagement and long-term commitment of the government of Tanzania,” said Mr Nzietchueng on the sidelines of a three-day One Health Country Profiling Workshop that began in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.

“Tanzania is far ahead of other countries because it has a one health section at the Disaster Management Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office. Before, it was only a desk for technical working group. Now the section has been upgraded. It is under a director,” he said.

Participants in the workshop organized by FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease Control (ECTAD) were presented with revised One Health Monitoring Tool (OHMT) that identify institutionalization and operalization gaps of the one health approach and the progress achieved so far.

According to Mr Nzietchueng the tool is key to achieving sustainability of the one health approach beyond project-related interventions, involving all relevant sectors and having the capacity to monitor progress made in its implementation.

It is expected the Country One Health profiling of Tanzania will be conducted and priority actions and timeline defined.

Opening the workshop, a senior officer from the Disasters Management Unit under the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Salum Manyata said about 60 per cent of human being diseases were obtained from domestic and wild animals.

These diseases are a result of encroachment of wild animal habitant by increasing human activities, he said.

He said it was therefore impossible for the health sector to deal with all complex health challenges on its own without collaboration with other sectors.

“There is significant risk of a zoonosis disease outbreak due to wildlife habitat loss because of rapidly increasing population leading to encroachment of wild animal areas,” he said.

FAO Representative to Tanzania, Dr Nyabenyi Tipo said one health approach was important because of growing human being and nature interactions may lead to spread of zoonotic diseases

“Today world’s population is approximately 8 billion people and by 2050 the global population will rise to 9.8 billion. As a result more people are moving to new environment.

“They live in close contact with wild and domestic animals, both livestock and pets. This result to close contact with animals and their environments which provides more opportunities for diseases to pass between animals and people,” she said.

The workshop has been organized under support of Sustainable Operationalization of One Health in the Africa region and funded by United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

Related Articles

Back to top button