Radisson Blu Hotel, Freetown, 3rd November 2021— The Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), Dr Francis Kai-Kai has on behalf of Sierra Leone’s Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh addressed the 6th International One Health Day Celebration (the 3rd in Sierra Leone) with the theme of this year’s commemoration: “Working together to build a safer environment for human and animal health”.
The event, which is annually commemorated around the world on November 3rd is geared to raise public awareness on One Health to improve inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach to addressing public, environmental and animal health events.
In his welcome statement, Joseph Bunting Graden, the National Technical Coordinator, One Health said the One Health approach had provided an uncommon opportunity to experts in
public health, animal health, plant health and environmental health of member countries to interact with their counterparts from around the world and provide solutions to matters of commons interest.
He said this year’s celebration concludes to immediately usher in, their post-celebration activities which would include reviewing their community public health intervention strategies, establishing community One Health structures and a focus on environmental health hazards among others.
David Reimer, the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, on his part, said the US Government was committed to working with One Health to build a safer environment for human and animal health. He said that the US government appreciated the partnership with Sierra Leone to improve health and security through the Global Health Security Agenda.
Ambassador Reimer commended the President Bio-led Government, the private sector and civil society for their roles in detecting, preventing and responding to health challenges posed by the increasing interface between animals and people.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Anthony Augustine Sandi said the One Health approach has been increasingly accepted by numerous major international organizations with a simple governance framework to promote optimal health for animals, humans and the environment.
He used the opportunity to thank all One Health partners for supporting Government in taking actions to improve the environment, public and animal health services.
In his keynote address, on behalf of the Vice-President, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai-Kai said this year’s theme was a call for them to think, act, and work collaboratively to ensure they protected the health of humans, animals and the environment.
He said the lessons of the deadly 2014 Ebola outbreak increased awareness of the need for collaboration among public health, the environment and animal health professionals in detection, prevention, and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious zoonotic diseases.
Minister Kai-Kai said their observations over time of the changing environments with regard to infectious disease risks affecting humans and animals compels their interest towards embracing the One Health approach as a way of improving disease prediction and control.
The Minister called for the need for more coordination, collaboration and partnership among government sectors and partners in order to enable the utility of One Health.
The One Health platform in Sierra Leone is an approach that promotes effective collaboration of multiple disciples working together to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and our environment.
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