The FAO One Health Monitoring Tool aids local, national and regional entities to assess progress made and identify gaps.
The Tanzania One Health Coordination Desk, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), brought together One Health stakeholders in the United Republic of Tanzania to review the One Health Monitoring Tool (OHMT), an innovative tool that will be used to monitor One Health progress and to assess and evaluate outcomes and operational level. The OHMT aims to improve transparency and support accountability relationships as countries prepare to respond to health threats. The information gathered during this two-day workshop will be used to improve the OHMT with a view to its final review and validation.
One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems. It recognizes that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants and the wider environment are closely linked and interdependent. Although there is increasing attention to One Health globally, applying One Health principles routinely remains a major challenge for the formulation of public policy, resource mobilization and sustainable implementation. It is therefore important to integrate the One Health approach into medicine, veterinary, environment, wildlife, public health, agriculture and other relevant disciplines to mitigate the burden of health threats and to implement mechanisms to evaluate and improve the operationalization of the One Health approach across sectors.
Until now, countries did not have a specific tool to assess and monitor their progress on One Health or produce accurate data on One Health operationalization at country and regional levels. With the OHMT, all countries, even those without National One Health platforms, will be able to coordinate and cooperate among sectors involved in health management to monitor One Health progress and evaluate One Health outcomes and operational level.
The Tripartite (FAO, the World Organisation for Animal Health [OIE] and the World Health Organization [WHO]) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are supporting implementation of the **One Health approach **at all levels to ensure that specialists in multiple sectors and disciplines work together to tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy and air and safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development.
During the opening remarks of the One Health Monitoring Tool pilot workshop, the representative of the Prime Minister’s Office, from the Disaster Management Department of the United Republic of Tanzania, Baltazary Leba, declared: “The One Health approach emphasizes the relatedness of human, animal and environmental health and the importance of transdisciplinary efforts in control and prevention of zoonotic diseases.” Representing FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), Niwael Mtui-Malamsha affirmed that “the systematic assessment of the One Health operationalization is important to reveal progress made and identify gaps to inform future One Health strategic planning.”
FAO to pilot tool in three other African countries
The One Health Monitoring tool was developed by FAO to support local, national and regional entities to assess progress and identify gaps in One Health operationalization. It is built on existing frameworks such as the World Bank’s operation framework for strengthening human, animal and environment public health systems at their interface, the One Health SMART tool developed by the University of Minnesota and the United States Department of Agriculture, and the One Health Assessment Planning for Performance (OH-APP) framework designed with funding from the** United States Agency for International Development (USAID)** under the Preparedness and Response Project. Experts from relevant stakeholders such as WHO Regional Office for Africa, OIE Africa, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the African Union – InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources and Regional Economic Communities were also consulted during the OHMT development.
FAO, through ECTAD, in collaboration with the National One Health platforms of member countries, will also organize pilot workshops in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Liberia that will bring together One Health actors to test and review the OHMT. These preliminary country assessments of the OHMT will improve its effectiveness, as they help to gather feedback from relevant sectors and disciplines at all levels of implementation.