KNA The Garissa County One Health Coordination team has called for increased surveillance and control of zoonotic diseases within the County.
Speaking Wednesday during the quarterly coordination meeting held at a Garissa hotel, the Director for Livestock Dr Haret Hambe said movement of people and livestock increased during the dry season expressing fears that diseases could have been spread across borders.
Hambe said the multi-sectoral One Health Coordination platform-involving ministry of health, Veterinary services, Environment, KWS and donor partners needs to set up joint health surveillance and roll out risk mapping for priority zoonotic diseases.
“Reports show that more than 60 percent of emerging infections human diseases are of zoonotic origin transmitted between species of animals to humans,” Hambe said.
The director said that for a successful health intervention the cooperation of the County One health technical working group was paramount.
The organization is prioritizing five key zoonosis of interest that include Anthrax, Rift Valley fever, Rabies, Brucellosis and Trypanosomiasis among other diseases that need proper surveillance, coordinated investigation and quick outbreak response.
The Garissa County One health committee quarterly meeting came up with a raft of action points aimed at boosting successful health interventions to curb the infection and spread of the zoonotic diseases.
Participating organizations and departments in the meeting included Alight, WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children and County government directors and Sub county heads from departments of health and Vet service.
Kenya adopted the One Health approach in 2006 by establishing a multi-sectoral committee aligned with global recommendation to coordinate preparedness efforts to prevent the spread of HPAI in the wake of the global spread of H5N1.
County One Health units focus on initiating or enhancing communication platforms between the health and livestock sectors to improve surveillance and reporting of zoonotic diseases, ensuring rapid joint investigation and response to zoonotic disease outbreaks to mitigate disease impact.
Sharing of disease outbreak information across sectors and rapid joint outbreak response at county level has helped reduce the burden of spillover to humans that acquire zoonotic disease infections.
As of April 2017, 31 counties had established One Health units while through collaborations with other international partners the remaining units were to have fully operationalized units by 2019.