Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) organised a national workshop to address the ‘One Health’ approach, an integrated, unifying tool for joint assessment and control of zoonotic diseases.
The two-day workshop, in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, discussed the One Health concept, which requires combining the efforts of multiple sectors involved in combating zoonotic diseases. This collaborative approach helps achieve optimal health for both humans and animals, while also protecting the environment and assessing the risks associated with zoonotic diseases.
The workshop was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and chaired by Dr Hussain Al Rand, assistant undersecretary for the public health sector at the MoHAP. It targeted workers in the health care, environmental health, and animal health sectors. Several representatives of local health authorities were present.
The workshop shed light on the role played by the tripartite alliance – the World Organisation for Animal Health, Food and Agriculture Organisation under the United Nations, and the World Health Organisation – in promoting the One Health approach.
Dr Al Rand stressed that the UAE’s health system is well-equipped to track, anticipate, and effectively address any disease and is also making the most of all available tools and resources to respond swiftly to pandemics.
“This would not have been possible had it not been for the support of the wise leadership, which has been keen to develop policies and adopt best practices aimed at enhancing the health of the community and establishing a sustainable health system,” he said.
Dr Al Rand also urged greater cooperation among all parties concerned with community health and prevention in order to better track and control infectious diseases arising from animal sources.
The workshop featured a practical session, during which participants were trained on the steps to be followed in the risk assessment, as well as prevention and control of zoonotic diseases based on the One Health approach. The concept recognises that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment, and aims to sustainably balance and optimise the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.