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Ghana prioritises One Health activities within the Global Health Preparedness Programme

A One Health round table was held in Accra in February 2018 on preventing and controlling zoonotic diseases. Participants were technical experts from the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Health Service of the Ministry of Health and the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource.

Group in a meeting room with roundtable.
Technical experts from human and animal health sectors meet at veterinary services department in Accra, Ghana. Photo: Elizabeth Fleur Peacocke/NIPH

Zoonotic diseases (see text box) are the most likely sources of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. It is commonly agreed that a collective One Health approach improves the detection and response to infectious diseases. It is particularly relevant in the control of diseases that can spread between animals and humans.

One Health Platform

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is collaborating with the Ghana Health Service and World Health Organization (WHO) Ghana Country Office in supporting the assessment, prioritization and implementation of actions to meet core capacities of the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).

The objective of the roundtable was to establish a One Health Platform where multiple sectors can share information more freely. This will complement the already established Antimicrobial Resistance and Rabies Committees within the Global Health Preparedness Programme. This is a five-year programme that the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has initiated to support four partner countries in strengthening abilities to prevent and respond to public health crisis. 

Goat grazing in an office garden
Animals wander freely in the grounds of the Veterinary Services Department Ghana. 73% of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are known to be zoonotic (Woolhouse ME, Gowtage-Sequeria S. Host range and emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Emerging infectious diseases. 2005;11(12):1842). Photo: Elizabeth Fleur Peacocke, NIPH

Enthusiasm

“One Health is a challenge for all countries. It is exciting to see so much enthusiasm for One Health activities in Ghana and we are happy to share knowledge and support them,” says Line Vold, Department Director for Zoonotic, Food- and Waterborne Infections at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

NIPH has signed an agreement with the WHO Ghana Country Office, and will be supporting activities related to One Health, chemical event preparedness capacity, and the strengthening of specimen referral and transport system. The collaboration will last until June 2020. 

Read more about The Global Health Preparedness Programme in Ghana.

 

Zoonoses

Zoonoses are infections that can pass between animals and humans.

You can get zoonotic diseases through direct contact with animals if you:

  • work with animals
  • have pets
  • have hobbies that involve animals

You can also get some of these diseases from contaminated food or water, or via insects such as ticks.

Source:  GOV.UK