As years go by, there is constant need for humans and animals to live in a healthy environment that incorporates their lifestyle without causing harm to either party. In most parts of the world today, the One Health Approach is used to ensure that the activities of humans and animals alike are checked to mitigate the spread of infections amongst them and the environment.
In Cameroon, the One Health Strategy was launched in 2013. The program currently operates on two basis; the National One Health Strategy and the Program for the Prevention and Control of Emerging and Re-emerging Zoonosis.
According to the One Health Approach, the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and the environment. This approach incorporates issues such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and food security, vector-borne diseases, environmental contamination, and other health threats shared by people, animals, and the environment. To this effect, the approach is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary, working at the local, regional, national, and global levels with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes, recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.
Through the One Health Approach, experts in human, animal, environmental health, and other relevant disciplines and sectors in monitoring and controlling public health threats learn about how diseases spread among people, animals, plants, and the environment, while finding ways to mitigate the spread of such diseases. As such, One Health Day is Celebrated every November 3rd.
Recently in Cameroon, through the One Health Programme, Bloggers and Content editors were trained on how to intensify reporting on zoonoses. This training ran from September 13 to 16 in Ebolowa.
Some zoonotic diseases which are a cause for concern for the One Health Approach include Rabies, West Nile virus infection, Lyme disease, ringworm, ebola, monkey pox.
Importance of the One Health Approach
Carefully studying the relationship between humans, animals and the environment can go a long way to improve on livelihood. This as the approach can prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases in animals and people. The approach can also improve on food security and safety. Furthermore the approach if effectively used will reduce antibiotic-resistant infections which will result to an improvement in human and animal health.
One Health Approach reminds us of the need to take steps to make sure our pets stay healthy likewise practicing good hygienic behaviours around pets. In addition, it is important for humans to keep wildlife wild to reduce the risk of illness and injury to humans, pets, and wild animals. Through collective efforts amongst stakeholders involved in the One Health Approach, we can guarantee an improvement in the health of humans, animals and their environment.
By Sandrine Moma