Participants of the training workshop organised by the Ministry of Health and Prevention in partnership with the World Health Organisation. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE healthcare workers are now better equipped to identify and handle zoonotic diseases, thanks to a training workshop organised by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The workshop was held to train employees in the mechanism for identifying priority zoonotic diseases using the ‘One Health’ approach, which is an effective tool for jointly assessing the risks of these diseases. Zoonotic diseases are infections that are spread between people and animals.

Targeting workers in the healthcare, environmental health, and animal health sectors, the workshop focused on One Health as an approach that requires collaboration between multiple sectors to combat zoonotic diseases.

Dr Fatima Al Attar, director of the International Health Regulations Office; Dr Fatima Hussein, director of the Epidemiology and Surveillance Department; and Nada Hassan Al Marzouqi, director of Public Health, and Prevention Department, MoHAP, attended the workshop, which was held at the ministry’s headquarters recently.

During the event, participants were introduced to the practical steps to be taken in the process of identifying priority zoonotic diseases, including the mechanisms for assessing the risks of these diseases, methods for their prevention and control, and guidelines for collective action in this regard.

Collaborative approach

Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, assistant undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, said: “Identifying and evaluating priority zoonotic diseases is very important to reduce their impact and control them effectively. This requires coordination and cooperation between all parties involved in human, animal, and environmental health.”

He added that effective communication and the sharing of information between authorities are crucial in preparing for the potential risks posed by these diseases.

Fatima Hussein said that training stakeholders on this process and incorporating it into the national health system is necessary for efficiently identifying zoonotic diseases and developing national plans for preparedness, surveillance, and response to health threats.