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Strategy to safeguard human, animal, and environmental health launched

Strategy to safeguard human, animal, and environmental health launched

A comprehensive Tripartite One Health Strategy spanning 2024 to 2028 was jointly launched on Wednesday by the Ministries of Health and Social Services, Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, alongside the University of Namibia.

The initiative marks a concerted effort to protect the interconnected health of humans, animals, and the environment.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula stressed the strategy’s significance in tackling zoonotic diseases and other health threats that impact both livelihoods and economies.

He emphasized that diseases like rabies and food-borne illnesses, emerging at the human-animal  interface, continue to pose substantial challenges.

Shangula said that the One Health approach enhances coordination, communication and collaboration across sectors, bolstering Namibia’s capacity to respond effectively to such threats.

Reflecting on Namibia’s experiences with various outbreaks like cholera, anthrax, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Shangula highlighted the urgent need for a unified national strategy.

He emphasized that in the Namibian context, the One Health approach becomes imperative due to frequent reports of zoonotic diseases, compounded by the impacts of climate change.

The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Hon Carl Schlettwein supported this sentiment, stating “To mitigate disease and famine, this strategy requires collaborative, multi-sectoral, and transdisciplinary approaches at local, regional, national, and global levels,” he said.

Financial commitment to the strategy is robust, with the government allocating over N$4 million annually to support its implementation.

This funding supports specific interventions in disease surveillance, programmes combatting antimicrobial resistance, and wildlife disease control.

The implementation of the strategy meanwhile will undergo annual reviews by the One Health Multisectoral Coordinating Committee. Its activities will be integrated into broader national health strategies, ensuring comprehensive and sustained efforts to safeguard public health and environmental integrity.


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