Progressive Pathway Towards One Health Leadership
03 February 2015
- Ha Noi, 3 February 2015 – At the opening of the third One Health Conference here in Ha Noi, the UN recognized One Health (OH) accomplishments that Viet Nam has achieved to-date, but also emphasized on a long road ahead for Viet Nam to become a regional OH leader. Given the threat posed by new and emerging diseases the UN still urged for stronger cooperation between human, animal and ecosystem health under the ‘One Health’ umbrella.
At the conference, options were discussed to form a One Health partnership to broaden out mandate and scope of the existing Partnership for Avian and Human Influenza Prevention (PAHI). The Partnership will bring different sectors and disciplines together to identify potential public health risks related to zoonotic infectious diseases and to align and coordinate prevention and control actions.
“One Health provides a framework for ensuring animal, human and ecosystem health. Viet Nam has made good progress to date but still needs to develop a strategic OH coordination mechanism along with an OH action plan and road map” said UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, Ms. Pratibha Mehta.
“International experience suggests that for sustainable results “One Health” requires multi-sectoral approach, beyond human and animal health sectors to include partners from natural resource management, ecosystem health, and development planning sectors. We hope that multi-sectoral dialogue such as today will lead to broading partnerships.”
In recent months, worldwide attention has focused on the impact of new and emerging infectious diseases. Increasing pressure on fragile environments has brought humans, livestock and wildlife into ever closer contact. Diseases that cross over from animals to humans, including ebola and avian influenza, can have massive, rapid and far-reaching consequences on human health, livelihoods, food safety and economic development. Viet Nam is located in a relatively high-risk region for new, re-emerging and recurring infectious diseases in human, livestock and animals, for example the SARS.
Given its experience in tackling SARS and Avian Influenza, Viet Nam was one of the first countries in the region to adopt a multi-sectoral approach in 2003, which became a OH approach in 2010 through the endorsement in the Ha Noi Declaration at the International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza. Through the One Health initiative, the UN in Viet Nam has helped to improve national coordination mechanisms between the animal health and human sectors. This has involved improving the capacity and skills of both the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health. FAO and WHO have highlighted the importance of developing Standard Operation Procedure (SOPs) for collecting and sharing information; conducting surveillance; and joint outbreak investigation between both animal and human health experts. UNDP, FAO and WHO are supporting policy dialogues, multi-stakeholders coordination and consultation between national and international partners. The UN efforts have already led to better preparedness and response capacity for zoonotic diseases such as avian Influenza H5N1 and H7N9.
For further information, please contact:
Communications Officer, World Health Organization (WHO)
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Nguyen Thuy Hang
ECTAD Programme – Viet Nam - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Tel: (+84-4) 3942 4208 ext 13; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phan Huong Giang
United Nation Development Programme
Tel: (+84-4) 38224383 ext 119; Emai: email@example.com