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EPHI lauds the role of One Health initiative in capacitating health system in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, May 23, 2024 (FBC) – Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA) in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Addis Ababa University (AAU) organized a workshop to validate guiding documents for “Integrating One Health into Education and Research in Ethiopia.”

In his welcoming remarks at the event, Coordinator of COHESA project at AAU, Dr. Mirgissa Kaba, said that collaborative activities are underway to help the government tackle emerging health threats from, among others, pandemics and antimicrobial resistance.

Dr. Mirgissa Kaba, Coordinator of COHESA project at AAU

Dr. Mirgissa explained that the guiding documents have been developed with the support of COHESA project to integrate One Health approaches and principles into secondary education system. “The guide emphasizes the vital link between human, animal, and environmental wellbeing; by empowering educators to incorporate a comprehensive perspective on global One Health issues with their teachings.”

Dr. Getachew Tollera, Deputy Director General of Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), in his opening speech, stated that Ethiopia faces heath challenges that require comprehensive and integrated response citing the One Health approach as instrumental to this end.

Ethiopia is implementing One Health approach involving participation of various stakeholders thereby ensuring a more resilient health care system.

Dr. Getachew noted that the research based activities being carried out by the COHESA can add in impetus to the efforts underway by the government to enhancing its surveillance systems and preparedness against emerging health threats.

He added that the One Health approach would also help bring veterinarians, environmentalists and health professionals together for an integrated and resilient health system in the country.

Dr. Theo Knight-Jones, Coordinator of COHESA project

Dr. Theo Knight-Jones, a principal scientist in the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and coordinator of the COHESA, said that 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.

WHO Representative, Dr. Fekadu Adugna, on his part, remarked that Ethiopia is on the right track to implement the One Health Initiative appreciating collaborative activities being undertaken by AAU and COHESA in this regard.

Dr. Fekadu Adugna, WHO Representative

Dr. Fekadu reaffirmed WHO’s unwavering commitment to continue its support for Ethiopia in implementing One Health initiative and capacitating the sector.

Leaders of the health system, health professionals, researchers and scholars from health and higher education institutions from all corners of the country have attended the workshop.

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