One Health technical and ministerial meeting opens in Dakar
Implementing One Health initiative in West Africa on zoonotic diseases and related public health threats
For FAO, the One Health approach is a prerequisite for ensuring public and animal health security, building agro-ecological resilience, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring efficient use of natural resources and the safety of food supply chains.
In the African context, the Ebola virus disease caused tens of thousands of deaths and negatively affected socio-economic activities of communities and countries for months from 2014 to 2016. The implementation of One Health approach is crucial now, as further evidenced by the increasing threat posed by re-emergence of the zoonotic highly pathogenic avian influenza due to H5N1 virus that is rapidly spreading in West and Central Africa with a potential to cause significant negative socio-economic impact and a major threat to public health.
“FAO strongly believes that the fight against animal diseases, including zoonotic emerging diseases, require tackling them at their animal source“, said the FAO Representative a.i. in Senegal, Patrick David, at the opening of the One Health Technical and Ministerial meetings on zoonotic diseases and related public health threats (8-11 November 2016, Dakar).
“I believe this meeting will enable us to be a milestone in the formulation of an agenda for the effective and sustainable implementation of the One Health approach”, he added.