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Burkina Faso advances its multidisciplinary “One Health” system

Burkina Faso advances its multidisciplinary “One Health” system

26/09/2019

Intersectoral collaborations between the animal and human health sectors to combat zoonotic diseases have always been very difficult and complex. Recognizing the importance of a multidisciplinary One Health approach and the need to maximize human and financial resource mobilization and to create better synergies in combating emerging zoonoses, the Emergency Pandemic Threats (EPT-2) programme has been credited with raising awareness and understanding the importance of a One Health approach. The programme has been a catalyst to bring government sectors together through a One Health approach, in establishing national One Health platforms and in strengthening enabling environments.

In Burkina Faso, the establishment of a national One Health platform has been a significant achievement, which has resulted from the overall recommendation and coordination of the Ministry of Animal and Fisheries Resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) and in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has consistently supported this process. During the One Health ministerial meeting in Dakar in November 2016, Burkina Faso, amongst other regional countries, committed to implementing the One Health approach. There was also a national engagement process during the celebration of Health Sciences Days in May 2018 in Bobo-Dioulasso, and a recent validation workshop of the regulatory texts of the National One Health Coordination Platform of Burkina Faso, which was held on 25 June 2019.

With the operationalization of the Coordination Platform, Burkina Faso has reached a new milestone in the establishment of a One Health approach to prevent, detect and respond to disease and other public health threats. This newly founded mechanism for coordination and collaboration has brought together different stakeholders to reinforce the capacity of veterinary workers on infection control measures, to reinforce laboratories’ capacity by purchasing equipment and supplies and to prioritize the top five zoonotic diseases in the country, namely anthrax, rabies, avian influenza, brucellosis and dengue fever. These joint outcomes have enabled the country to support more efficient disease surveillance, as well as plan outbreak response and preparedness to reduce illness and death in people and animals.

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